As lawyer-about-town Tom Girardi wrestles with a made-for-TV divorce from Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne, as well as lawsuits from former partners, his brother is asking a judge to make him the former legal eagle’s guardian, claiming his sibling “is incompetent and unable to act for himself,” the Los Angeles Times reports.
In a petition to a U.S. Bankruptcy Court judge Wednesday, Robert Girardi, a 77-year-old dentist from Seal Beach, said his brother does not understand the gravity of his situation as his law firm, Girardi Keese, falls apart amid accusations that he failed to pay back creditors and misappropriated millions from the firm’s clients—including the families of 189 people who died in the 2018 crash of a Boeing 737 Max off the coast of Indonesia.
“My brother is incapable of realizing and understanding the repercussions of the bankruptcy filings pending against him and his law firm Girardi Keese notwithstanding having [it] explained to him over and over and by various people,” Robert Girardi said in his sworn declaration. “Furthermore, my brother is not capable of making rational decisions with respect to his financial responsibilities and offers solutions and opinions that are factually impossible.”
Robert Girardi also tried to explain why Tom missed a Tuesday deadline to file a response to a group of creditors who are trying to force Girardi Keese into bankruptcy, and asked U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Barry Russell for more time to mount a defense.
Russell, however, ordered that the case proceed to Chapter 7 bankruptcy, where Girardi’s remaining assets will be liquidated and sold off to pay his and Girardi Keese’s bills.
Though Russell seemed unsympathetic to Girardi’s alleged condition—and one of his creditors has called his whole divorce “simply a sham attempt to fraudulently protect Tom’s and Erika’s money”—a lawyer for Girardi told a federal judge last month that his client “has had issues of his mental competence” and a court-appointed trustee recently visited Girardi Keese’s DTLA-adjacent headquarters to assess the situation.
The trustee, Elissa Miller, found the offices largely deserted aside from Girardi and boxes of files that she said represented “active cases that need representation.”
“I don’t think he really has a handle on the day to day of these cases,” she added. “He seemed a bit confused.”
If all that isn’t grim enough, Erika Jayne is determined to air the couple’s crusty laundry on the 11th season of her Bravo reality show, the taping of which has been temporarily halted because of COVID. “Legally, there’s only so much she’s allowed to say, but she has been advised on what she can put out there,” a source told Us Weekly. “Viewers will also hear the other Housewives’ thoughts on Erika and Tom’s divorce.”
Still, it’s hard to imagine that anything will top the 49-year-old “How Many Fucks?” songstress’s most recent bombshell, in which she accused her soon-to-be ex of an affair with Tricia A. Bigelow, the presiding justice of Division 8 of California’s 2nd District Court of Appeals.
Jayne took to Instagram in December to post what she claimed were text messages sent to Girardi by Bigelow. (“Tonight was fantastic. Really,” one of Bigelow’s missives read. “But it would be a whole lot better if I were fucking you.”) Bigelow’s attorney, Alan Jackson, insisted to the Times that his client has been “in a committed relationship with her husband for more than four years.”
Meanwhile, since Girardi and Keese’s only remaining assets are its legal cases, Miller is trying to find lawyers who can pick them up.
“The line is long of counsel that have contacted me already about taking cases over,” she said.
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