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Erika Girardi Reveals She Contemplated Suicide 'Many Times' During Tom Girardi's Legal Troubles

The 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star looked back at her darkest days during her two-hour docuseries, 'Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde'

 Paul Archuleta/Getty Images Erika Girardi
Paul Archuleta/Getty Images Erika Girardi

Erika Girardi is getting candid about the toll Tom Girardi's legal controversies had on her mental health.

During Wednesday's two-hour documentary, Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star, 52, admitted that she previously considered suicide as the world — and her costars — turned against her.

"There was nothing hopeful on the horizon for years. That's when you're like, 'Well, why am I here?'" she said. "I thought about killing myself many times. I would talk to my son, I was like, 'I don't want to do this. I don't want to be here.'"

Thankfully, Erika's son Tommy Zizzo — whom she had during a pervious relationship — talked her out of it.

"He was like, '...Here's what you're going to do. You're gonna dig your heels in and you're going to fight like a motherf---er and you're going to show everyone that they were wrong and you were right and then we can have this conversation after that,'" she recalled of her 30-year-old son's response. "'But until then, you're going to fight.'"

Related: Erika Jayne Admits It's 'Frightening' Returning to Music Without Tom Girardi: 'There’s No Net' (Exclusive)

Leon Bennett/WireImage Erika Girardi
Leon Bennett/WireImage Erika Girardi

Perseverance is something Erika's been doing since she filed for divorce from Tom in November 2020 after 21 years of marriage.

Within a month, the now-disgraced and disbarred lawyer was tangled in a complicated web of lawsuits related to his alleged embezzlement of over $15 million worth of client funds for his own personal spending. His legal issues spilled over to Erika, who was named in a fraud case and slapped with multiple civil suits for allegedly participating in the mistreatment of said funds.

Erika has long denied she had any knowledge or involvement, and in August 2022, was cleared of wrongdoing in a criminal case. And while she's still fighting some civil cases, it's the court of public opinion that's been on Erika's neck.

<p>Steve Eichner/AP</p> Erika Girardi and Thomas Girardi at the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic on June 18, 2016

Steve Eichner/AP

Erika Girardi and Thomas Girardi at the Los Angeles Lawyers Philharmonic on June 18, 2016

Nowhere was that clearer than in season 12 of RHOBH, where Erika notably told her castmates, "I don't care about anybody but me" while she was confronted about whether she had any sympathy for the victims of her estranged husband's alleged crimes.

Looking back on those arguments with Garcelle Beauvais, Sutton Stracke and Crystal Kung Minkoff in Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde, Erika noted that "none of them would survive in this environment that I'm in."

"I don't think those girls really cared about how I felt, grieving a marriage and a person you were married to and the idea of that person," she said. "They care about their own skin. There was a whole lot of judgment and accusations, repeatedly, over and over again. I had to defend myself every day."

<p>Emily Shur/Bravo via Getty Images</p> The cast of Bravo's 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' season 13: Annemarie Wiley, Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, Kyle Richards, Garcelle Beauvais, Sutton Stracke and Crystal Kung Minkoff

Emily Shur/Bravo via Getty Images

The cast of Bravo's 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' season 13: Annemarie Wiley, Erika Girardi, Dorit Kemsley, Kyle Richards, Garcelle Beauvais, Sutton Stracke and Crystal Kung Minkoff

Related: Erika Girardi Has Strong Words Regarding Divorce, Sees Vegas Residency as a ‘Rebirth’ (Exclusive)

Erika — who performs under the stage moniker Erika Jayne — saw some retribution for that in season 13, asking for apologies from her castmates for their behavior towards her.

"I got the acknowledgement of the behavior that I was looking for, which was just, 'Hey, this is really tough and it did not have to be this way,' " Erika told PEOPLE earlier this month while promoting the special, which chronicled her return to the stage with her Las Vegas residency Bet It All on Blonde. "And that's all I was really after. I got that, that's fine. Moving on."

<p>Ethan Miller/Getty </p> Erika Jayne at the opening of her Las Vegas residency, Bet It All on Blonde, in August 2023

Ethan Miller/Getty

Erika Jayne at the opening of her Las Vegas residency, Bet It All on Blonde, in August 2023

That's a difference from what Erika said in past seasons, when she noted she was keeping track of those who had supported her — and who hadn't.

But that growth came from time.

"Did I keep a checklist? I did. But I got what I needed," she explained. "Will I ever forget how I was treated or how I felt? No. Is it time to move forward from that? Yes. Now could I slide because I'm human? And it may be it's the most convenient time, but yeah, I mean, I think that you remember how you felt and how people treated you when you were at your lowest. You definitely do."

"But forgiveness is for me, and I had to move on," she added. "I could continue to be miserable and angry for the rest of my life, but they're going on about their lives and having a great time. And that's really how you have to look at it. These people are moving on, and I have to too. It's not fair to hold them in a place of the past either. If I ask them to move forward, I expect myself to move forward too in how I see these people."

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion part 3 airs Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET on Bravo, and can be streamed on Peacock the following day. Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde is also streaming on Peacock.

If you or someone you know is considering suicide, please contact the 988 Suicide and Crisis Lifeline by dialing 988, text "STRENGTH" to the Crisis Text Line at 741741 or go to 988lifeline.org.

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