The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is having its best season in years. The scandal revolving around Erika Jayne and her soon-to-be ex-husband Tom Girardi is salacious, shocking, and downright nasty. I know that thanks to Erika’s scandal, this season is a lot more interesting than most. However, after seeing a few of her social media posts, I felt the need to speak up. Erika, you might have brought the heat, but you refused to play the game that we know as Housewives. Let’s get into why her uncontrollable behavior, her constant lies and deflections, and lack of a moral compass to the victims of her husband’s alleged crimes could’ve been the downfall of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills this season.
Let’s start with the fact that Erika is paid a very cute coin to participate in this show willingly. She knows what her job entails and her behavior is hypocritical considering that she, along with the Fox Force Five, held Denise Richards to the fire last year for running away and lying all the time. While Erika might not run away from a conversation, she has made some of her castmates want to jump out of their skin and run into traffic after having a conversation with her. See, Erika doesn’t know how to be a grown adult and have actual conversations about what’s happening in her life. Instead, she cries and whines and flies off the handle when confronted about an issue. When Sutton confronted Erika at Kathy Hilton’s dinner party about her inaccuracies when recounting Tom’s “accident,” Erika went ballistic. First of all, who screams at someone at a dinner party? Let alone at Kathy Hilton’s house. Second of all, Erika knew she was going to be confronted with this, because this wasn’t her first time having this type of discussion with Sutton. How can you pretend to be surprised when none of your stories add up? Especially when you’re adding allegedly at the end of every story. You mean to tell me that Tom (allegedly) got into an accident (allegedly) and broke his hip (allegedly) and injured his brain (allegedly). Your son (allegedly) found him in a ditch (allegedly) in the middle of the forest? “Allegedly?” Girl, this is The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, not mad libs.
Let’s also address the fact that none of Erika’s stories make sense. Every time she talks about her situation, she adds new details—a telltale sign someone might be lying. First, she said Tom was found in a ditch in the middle of the forest. She goes on to say that she refused doctors’ orders for him to go into surgery for an “ankle-related injury” because his brain injury could be “affected” by the anesthesia, which was later disproved by fellow Housewife and anesthesiologist Dr. Tiffany Moon. Then, she tells us that Tom’s house was broken into (which was true) but then she says that the robbers attacked him and that her son went over to help and then ended up in a car accident on his way back home, due to snow. Not just any car accident, oh no, it couldn’t just be ANY car accident; she tells us that her son flipped over five times in the snow. Strangely enough, there actually was snow in the LA area at the time, but it seems doubtful that it was really enough to cause a big car accident. See, Erika can’t seem to keep up with her endless stories. She adds the word “allegedly” at the end of every story that she was “there” for. She constantly twists the narrative to make it seem like anyone who raises any eyebrows to her situation is a villain and that she is the victim here.
Speaking of victims, let’s talk about the actual victims in this case. Tom Girardi is being accused of some downright disgusting shit. Allegedly (I got you, Erika), he took money from burn victims, orphans, and widows (it makes you feel sick) and from just about a good chunk of his clients. Supposedly (we love a synonym), Tom used this money to fund his extravagant lifestyle, which included the lifestyle of Erika Jayne. Now, here is where Erika loses people. Erika refuses to show any sympathy; instead, we get many scenes of her crying about how f*cked up her life is. As Garcelle said in a confessional, “What about these poor victims that have nothing and now have less?” Girl, I promise you if you can afford to live in LA, pay for glam, and pay for extravagant and rather expensive outfits amid these lawsuits, then you’re good. You might not be where you once were, but you’re not the actual victim here. On another note, you’re not the reason why the show is spectacular this season. If it wasn’t for Sutton and Garcelle constantly questioning your lies, we would’ve been stuck watching you push out a narrative that we know isn’t true. If it wasn’t for Kathy Hilton and her quick one-liners, the whole season would’ve revolved around you giving us the same old rehearsed confessional reads that you give us every season. You didn’t bring your A game this season; the success of the season isn’t because of you.
I wish Erika had shown more sympathy toward the actual victims. I wish she didn’t go out of her way to attack anyone who contested her unbelievable stories inundated with inaccuracies and faulty timelines. You can’t proclaim to be “the people’s champ”, when you can’t even tell “the people” the whole truth. If you couldn’t speak your truth due to legalities, then you shouldn’t have signed up for another season of the show. But then again, it is “XXPEN$IVE” to be you, especially with all the money you’re going to have to pay back to these poor victims. Allegedly.
Image: Nicole Weingart/Bravo
It feels like just yesterday that we were eagerly awaiting the premiere of the 10th season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. After the massive let-down of season nine, it seemed that we might be turning over a new leaf, with two exciting new cast members, a lavish trip to Rome, and a Brandi vs. Denise showdown that was already burning up the tabloids. At the height of quarantine, the new season was supposed to be a much-needed escape from reality, replacing fear and uncertainty with glamour and petty drama and allowing us to focus on the Housewives’ problems instead of our own.
Instead, we got another frustratingly uneven season, once again dominated by a season-long storyline that failed to live up to the hype. Did Brandi Glanville and Denise Richards hook up? Most people seem to think so, but the truth is, we’ll never actually know definitively. Denise announced last week she won’t be returning for season 11, and given the fact that Brandi wasn’t even invited to the reunion this season, it doesn’t seem like anyone at Bravo is clamoring to get her back on the full-time payroll. This week marks the end of season 10, and for at least the third year in a row, it feels like RHOBH is in need of a major shakeup.
In each of the last two seasons, the network has made interesting casting choices, first bringing on iconic actress (and tabloid fixture) Denise Richards in season nine. Richards was a hit with viewers in her first season, and Bravo followed up that success in season 10 with another beloved actress in Garcelle Beauvais, and an unlikely voice of reason in friend-of Sutton Stracke. Both of these women had standout moments in their first season, and despite Denise’s unfortunate departure, hopefully both Sutton and Garcelle will return for another round. But the issues in Beverly Hills lie not with the new casting choices, but rather, with the older ones that have long grown stale.
With Garcelle and Denise sticking close together this season, and Dorit Kemsley suddenly filling the role of a fan favorite voice of reason, we’re left with a foursome that has been allowed to control the narrative on RHOBH for too long: Kyle Richards, Lisa Rinna, Erika Girardi, and Teddi Mellencamp. It’s clear that these women have some kind of unwritten pact to keep their unsavory personal issues out of the spotlight, and they no longer deserve to coast from season to season with no real pressure applied. If Bravo has any interest in restoring this franchise to its former glory, it’s time for some bold moves, and I have some ideas on what those should be.
First and foremost, Teddi Mellencamp has got to go. At this point, this is the opposite of a hot take, but that doesn’t make it any less relevant. In three seasons, Teddi has brought us few (if any) iconic moments, and Sutton was right when she identified Teddi as “a little boring.” While growing criticism of her accountability program could make for an interesting storyline next season, I have no faith that Teddi (and by extension, Kyle, Rinna, and Erika) would actually allow it to be brought up on camera. Far more dynamic Housewives have been let go after fewer than three seasons (Claudia Jordan, Jules Wainstein), so at this point, there’s really no excuse.
Speaking of Teddi, her permanent role as Kyle’s BFF/little minion does far more harm than good for the show. As the last OG left on the show, Kyle has put in the work and earned her status as a Real Housewives legend. But as we’ve seen with the likes of Vicki Gunvalson, Tamra Judge, and Dorinda Medley, being an OG or an iconic personality does not—and should not—grant you immunity from having to perform at a high level. Kyle doesn’t need to be fired, but we need a season where she no longer has a crutch (Teddi) to protect her from any negativity coming her way. During this season’s reunion, Kyle went head-to-head with Garcelle, and it brought out a defensive, scrappy side of Kyle that we haven’t seen in years. This is the energy we need for season 11, and I’m hopeful we’ll get it. In a recent interview with Jenny McCarthy, Garcelle was asked if she’s spoken to Kyle recently, and she indicated that she and Kyle are waiting to “do it on camera.”
This is good news, considering that in an interview last month on SiriusXM, Garcelle suggested that if Denise left she show, she would not return either. With Denise’s announcement last week, we were just waiting for the other shoe to drop from Garcelle, but it seems that she may have changed her tune. Hopefully she’s not just bluffing, because this season we got hints of Garcelle’s greatness, and a second season (where she’s not traveling as much) could solidify her position on the show.
So we’re keeping Kyle and Garcelle, giving Sutton the diamond she deserves, and assuming that Dorit will be staying, given she was universally well-received in season 10. That leaves Lisa Rinna and Erika Girardi, and this is where things get complicated. I’ll start with Erika, who is a star, no question about it. But her larger-than-life stage persona hasn’t translated to larger-than-life moments as a Real Housewife, and her glam no longer makes up for it. Each season, Erika has gotten heat for not being open about her personal life, and after five seasons, it’s time we end the grace period. For season 11, Erika can appear as a friend-of or a guest—by all means, please bring the glam!—but there’s no reason to waste a full-time contract on someone who ultimately doesn’t bring much to the table.
That brings me to Lisa Rinna. In six seasons on RHOBH, Rinna has certainly given us iconic moments, and for that, we thank her. But his season, her sh*t-stirring tactics fell flat, and by the end of the reunion, her treatment of her old friend Denise just felt sad and mean. When spearheading drama with Kim Richards or Yolanda Hadid in the past, Rinna mostly made it out unscathed, but this season left a bad taste in my mouth. I’ve liked Lisa in the past, and I want to like her again, so I don’t think she needs to be fired just yet… but the queen of “owning it” needs to be brought back down to earth, and fast. My hope is that with Teddi out of the picture and Erika on the periphery, Rinna and Kyle will finally be held accountable for their behavior, and won’t be able to systematically target whichever cast member they decide is the villain of the season.
When it comes to new cast members, RHOBH is always the most fun to speculate about, because they have a history of casting famous actresses who we already know. For season 11, I’d love to see them pull from Garcelle’s IRL group of friends, because she’s going to need a strong ally to fend off attacks from Kyle and Rinna. This season, we saw Garcelle hanging out with Ali Landry, and that’s the type of person Bravo should be seriously looking at. But going in a completely opposite direction, the season 11 cast needs another normal rich person to balance it out. Sutton seemed like a random addition a year ago, but it’s important to have women in the cast who aren’t already famous.
I won’t lie, as a huge Real Housewives fan, it’s been a rough few years for Beverly Hills. Through panty-gate, puppy-gate, and whatever the f*ck we just watched with Brandi and Denise, it feels like we’ve taken three steps back for every step forward. For a show with as many iconic moments as RHOBH, there’s no reason it needs to be this way, and I hope Bravo recognizes that it’s finally time to make some real changes.
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Images: John Tsiavis/Bravo
If you hung on until the end of this season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, congratulations, we made it. After the initial excitement of the Lisa Vanderpump dog drama wore off, this season felt like a never-ending game of beat around the bush, especially when it came to Dorit and PK. If you pay attention to Bravo drama outside of the actual shows, it’s been clear that Dorit Kemsley and her husband PK have been dealing with some shady financial sh*t for a while now, but it seems like the women on the show have some kind of agreement not to go near it.
When Camille Grammer started to ask questions about Dorit and PK’s money situation at the end of this season, she was immediately shut down by the group. Sorry, but as someone who has watched literally several hundred hours of Real Housewives, this would be a main plot line on any other Housewives show. We literally watched Teresa Giudice go to prison for her financial issues! I could go on about how boring RHOBH has gotten, but the real reason we’re here today is that legal proceedings have given us new information on exactly what’s going on with Dorit and PK, and it seems sketchy. As Bethenny Frankel would say, let’s mention it all.
Before I get to the new news, let’s go into the background of what’s been going on. Years ago, Dorit’s husband Paul Kemsley (PK) received a loan of $1.2 million from a man named Nicos Kirzis. PK has had lots of shady financial situations in the past, but for today, we’re just focusing on the fallout from this loan. In 2013, PK filed for bankruptcy in the UK, where he’s from. One of the main reasons people file for bankruptcy is that their debts are usually erased, but PK didn’t list Nicos Kirzis as one of his creditors in the bankruptcy filing. Therefore, that specific debt wasn’t actually affected. Whether this was an accidental oversight or something purposeful, it seems like PK done f*cked up.
In 2016, a judge in New York ruled that PK needs to pay Kirzis the $1.2 million, and last year, Kirzis filed to have that judgment applied in California, where the Kemsleys now live. In the 2018 documents, Kirzis noted that PK had paid him $250,000, but this apparently only covered the interest on the initial loan. Given the amount of this loan, I’ve got to wonder why Fofty wasn’t involved in recouping the money.
The first details about the loan from Kirzis and the subsequent judgment against PK came out in January of this year, but now action is finally being taken on the case. This week, a judge froze a bank account in Dorit and PK’s names, forbidding them from touching the money until the case is finally settled. According to The Blast, Dorit claims that the $29,000 in the account is solely her money, and has nothing to do with her husband, but she reportedly hasn’t been able to prove this.
Then, last month, reports surfaced that Dorit and PK were ordered to submit detailed financial records to a California court, so it seems like the legal system is getting serious about settling this situation. Dorit and PK are currently scheduled to appear in court in September, so it’s likely that the account will remain frozen until then, when a decision is made about whether their assets will be seized.
I don’t have as many problems with Dorit as many RHOBH viewers do, but it’s been clear for some time that her lavish lifestyle doesn’t quite add up. Just last year, PK also faced a case regarding millions of dollars he owed The Bellagio, and it’s unclear how much he had to pay out to settle that. Dorit and PK’s monstrous Beverly Hills house is currently for sale, and while Dorit claims on the show that they want a bigger yard for the kids, the whole thing stinks of money troubles. I’m not judging, just observing.
Me when Dorit shows up to every lunch in a new Balenciaga outfit:
Seriously, listening to her gloss over any issues with her and husband is almost as ridiculous as her fake British accent.
Dorit hasn’t made any comments about these latest developments, which isn’t that surprising, given that we’re dealing with an active legal case. PK however, reposted a meme from Instagram account Tank Sinatra on Friday, making fun of the situation they’re in right now:
The caption on this photo is definitely supposed to make us think that this whole story is being blown out of proportion, but I don’t really trust anything PK has to say. We’ve watched him and his wife parade around their wealth for three years on RHOBH, so one little meme isn’t going to make this all go away.
The reunion for this season of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills starts next week, so I’ll be curious to see whether any of these financial issues are brought up. I’m not very hopeful, but Lisa Vanderpump won’t even be there, so they have to talk about something. It might be a while before we know all the details about how deep Dorit and PK’s financial secrets go, but like they say on Real Housewives, the truth always comes out.
Images: Shutterstock; Giphy (2)