wealth distribution

‘Real Housewife’ Erika Jayne sued over NFL player death settlement money

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An attorney is suing “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” cast member Erika Jayne, alleging she indirectly aided her estranged lawyer husband in withholding money owed the plaintiff and a client after a settlement with the NFL.

Manuel Miller brought the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court, seeking $277,630 in compensatory damages for his referral fee and nearly $1.9 million for his client and fellow plaintiff, Kathleen Bajgrowicz. The suit also seeks punitive damages.

Jayne is Tom Girardi’s sole heir and was “intimately involved” in his former law firm’s business dealings, the suit states. Rather than stop Girardi’s actions, Jayne and others did nothing because it benefited them financially, the suit alleges.

A representative for Jayne could not be immediately reached for comment.

In 2015, Miller referred Bajgrowicz to Girardi in connection with claims arising from the death of her son, Charles Osborne Jr., at his La Jolla home in October 2012 at age 38. His cause of death was listed as “CTE and obesity-related hypertensive cardiomyopathy.”

Miller and Girardi agreed to share in the fees and the NFL later agreed to a cash settlement, according to the suit.

In May 2020, Girardi wrote Miller and said that a delay in paying the settlement money and the referral fee was caused by various tax issues related to the litigation, the suit states.

“Unknown to plaintiffs, Girardi had already taken their money and breached his and the firm’s fiduciary duty to distribute the funds to plaintiffs,” according to the suit, which alleges one of Girardi’s partners and others in the firm “lulled plaintiffs into believing that the funds could not be distributed to anyone until various issues were first resolved.”

Jayne, now 50, “knew about the scheme and that victims like plaintiffs were funding her notoriously lavish lifestyle chronicled on ‘The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills’ and aided and abetted Girardi’s breach of fiduciary duty and has direct liability for participating in and facilitating the conduct,” the suit states.

The plaintiffs are “not seeking to recover the funds misappropriated by Girardi or any amounts fraudulently transferred to the defendants,” the suit states. “Rather, plaintiffs are seeking to hold Defendants liable for the damages caused by their … conduct.”

Osborne played three seasons in the NFL, for the St. Louis Rams and Oakland Raiders.

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