July 28, 2021
Erika Jayne opens up about her divorce from Thomas Girardi on this season of ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills.’ On the show, Erika decried the use of the word “sham” to describe her divorce. But Variety spoke with Danning Gill Partner Zev Shechtman who said that a divorce used to keep “ill-begotten” funds can be considered part of a sham.
“There can be a completely legitimate divorce where people hate each other and don’t want to be married, where they also use the divorce proceeding as a mechanism to transfer assets inappropriately,” he said.
“I think the two things can be true,” Shechtman said. “She can want to be divorced from him for obvious reasons and there could be sham transactions – or ‘avoidable transactions,’ to use the legal term.”
“The term ‘sham’ is used to refer to $25 million-plus in transactions that ostensibly largely occurred during marriage,” Shechtman added. “The present day divorce may be real. But that doesn’t cure the ‘shams’ of the past.”
He also told Variety that Ms. Jayne may be considering a bankruptcy of her own as her litigation expenses rise. But he pointed out that there are certain types of debts that she may not be protected from, even in bankruptcy.
“Some types of claims, if they are based on, say, fraud, may not be dischargeable,” he said. “So bankruptcy would serve less of a purpose.”
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