'Real Housewife' Erika Jayne and Husband Tom Girardi Split: What She's Said About Leaving the 'Erin Brockovich' Lawyer

Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star Erika Jayne announced on Tuesday that she and husband Tom Girardi, who was a lawyer in the case that inspired the movie Erin Brockovich, are getting a divorce.

Jayne confirmed the split to E! "This is not a step taken lightly or easily. I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together," she said in a statement obtained by Newsweek after saying that she'd decided to end the marriage.

"It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserved," she also said in the statement. "I request others give us that privacy as well."

She and Girardi have been married for 21 years. Girardi is Jayne's second husband. The pair do not have any children together.

Girardi has been a lawyer for decades, but his most famous case is the one against Pacific Gas and Electric Company, which served as the basis for the 2000 film Erin Brockovich. Girardi was an adviser on the film, and in a 2015 interview with Attorney At Law Magazine, he explained that Peter Coyote's character was based on him. "Before that [case], nobody really gave a hoot or even realized there was any issue whatsoever with chemicals in the water or in the air. Then all of a sudden, people started to understand it and that's had far-reaching effects clear up through today," he said.

In a 2017 interview with Bravo, Jayne revealed that she and Girardi do not have a prenup. "Let me be very clear: I'm married to a very powerful lawyer: a prenup wouldn't stand in his way anyway. It doesn't matter whether you had one or you didn't. It's gonna be all Tom's way I assure you," she said.

In a 2018 interview with People, Jayne spoke about how she met Girardi as a server in Los Angeles during the late 90s and how their relationship developed. "I wasn't thinking that I would be married again, and I wasn't thinking that I'd be married to him," she said. "It really was two people that had kind of come together. We really like each other, and we really enjoy each other's company."

She also explained their 33-year age difference. "[I'm] 33 years younger than my husband, so that right there, everyone is gonna judge you," she told People. "No one likes to hear people criticize their family or the way that they-the person they are or how they believe... I do find that the older I get, the less and less it matters."

Erika Jayne
In this image released on October 2, Erika Jayne attends Rihanna's Savage X Fenty Show Vol. 2 presented by Amazon Prime Video at the Los Angeles Convention Center in Los Angeles, California; and broadcast on October 2, 2020. Getty/Jerritt Clark