Erika was asked about Bethenny’s previous comments that her late boyfriend Dennis Shields had once said Erika’s estranged husband Tom Girardi owed him “half a million dollars,” and that Tom used other people’s money to support Erika’s lifestyle.
Erika Jayne dropped what many consider an insensitive comment about Bethenny Frankel’s late boyfriend Dennis Shields during her appearance on “Watch What Happens Live” on Wednesday night.
Bethenny was set to appear the following night, on Thursday, but because her segment had been pre-taped, it did not address the comments Erika made during her appearance. But that didn’t stop Bethenny from responding.
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Taking to Twitter on Thursday afternoon, Bethenny said that “Dennis’ children are hurt, offended and disgusted by” Erika’s insensitive statement. She then told her fans, “I appreciate your loyalty, heart and compassion.”
The episode tonight of BravoWWHL was taped so I don’t address the comment you & Dennis’ children are hurt, offended and disgusted by. I appreciate your loyalty, heart and compassion.
During the show, Andy Cohen had asked Erika about Bethenny’s prior comments regarding Erika’s estranged husband Tom Girardi’s embezzlement scandal. Erika has long denied any involvement or awareness of the financial malfeasance Tom has been accused of.
Bethenny had said that Dennis had told her that Tom owed him “half a million dollars” and that he owed other people money, too, claiming Tom used that money to finance Erika’s lifestyle.
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Tom has been accused of misappropriating settlement funds from his law firm, including money owed to widows and orphans. While Erika has not been charged with a crime, she has been named in a pair of civil lawsuits involving Tom’s alleged scheme.
Erika has maintained her innocence amid allegations that she “aided and abetted” his alleged embezzling. It has further been claimed that these alleged illegal activities helped finance the lavish lifestyle she enjoyed as a cast-member of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.” Erika has denied these allegations, as well.
“In the business that Tom was doing which was contingent fee, it’s not unusual to borrow,” Erika told Andy. “So while that may be true, there were also loans that were really paid off.”
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She went on to add, “I don’t know where Bethenny’s coming from and, you know, her guy’s dead and my guy’s in a home, so whatever. But at the same time, that’s kind of the way the business goes.”
Dennis passed away in August 2018 of an apparent overdose, though this was never determined conclusively. Due to religious reasons an autopsy was never performed on the 51-year-old father of four, so no official cause of death has been determined.
Tom has been diagnosed with Alzheimer’s and is currently living in a senior living facility. Earlier in the interview, Erika had said that she sometimes speaks to him briefly, but her mental state continues to decline. She says he knows nothing of his current legal woes.
“He still thinks he’s practicing law,” she said of the 82-year-old retired lawyer.
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