EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: RHOBH Erika Girardi tells us about her “super sexy” alter ego
Erika Girardi is the latest addition to The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills line-up and boy has she made a big splash in that pool of diamonds. The 44-year-old is married to Tom Girardi – one of the most successful lawyers in the US (he’s famous for inspiring the Erin Brokovich case). She splits her time between being faithful wife and mother to her son from her previous marriage, and being Erika Jayne.
Erika Jayne is her super-sexualised alter-ego. I won’t spend time describing her, see for yourself:
Erika Jayne has eight number one singles on the US dance club charts and spends her time touring the country performing at night clubs, gay pride events and on TV appearances. Erika Girardi has decided to join the cast of the Real Housewives for season six and I had the privilege of speaking to the Atlanta-born housewife recently.
Watching the show it’s clear Erika is not afraid to say it like it is – I believe the phrase is “doesn’t give a flying f*ck”. She does, however, have a thick skin and certainly knows what she’s getting herself into – remember she’s married to an insanely smart lawyer (not that she relies on anyone but herself). This is one independent woman.
Erika completely defies expectations; something I and the housewives discovered quickly. On the outside, she could appear to be nothing more than a blonde, barbie doll-esque, gold-digging, trophy wife (Erika is 32 years younger than Tom). Dig a little deeper and she throws all of that on its head; she has been happily married for 16 years and her relationship with Tom is heartwarming and genuine, even on screen. She knows she looks like a barbie doll and she completely owns it – quote “I’m 44 years old but I look great. I have all the access to the best, what am I gonna look like – a hag? Of course I look great.”
Her no-nonsense, love-life attitude is infectious and she is fast becoming the jewel in the Beverly Hills tiara.
Here’s what she had to say to us:
Hi Erika, how are you?
I’m good, how are you today?
I’m really good, thank you. I wanted to say firstly that I think you’re such a great addition to the housewives. You’re such a breath of fresh air – it’s nice to have someone with an attitude like yours.
Oh thank you so much. I appreciate that.
How was it being the new girl? Did you feel like you were welcomed?
Of course I was welcomed but as you see, anytime you put a group of women together, not everyone’s going to gel 100% of the time and difficulties arise and so do differences of opinion, and that’s what makes the show so great.
Do you feel like when you’re on camera you’re completely natural or do you feel like you have a bit of a game plan when you’re all together?
Uh not for me, no. I feel in the moment and present.
We’ve recently seen you and the other ladies visiting The Hamptons. A lot of the housewives seemed intimated by you on Instagram but once they met you they fell in love with you! Have you had that reaction before?
Sure, yes. The answer is yes. I think that the persona of Erika Jayne, being this over the top , super sexy woman can sometimes throw people off.
And then, when you realize that there is a human being behind that – you understand that I’m just as normal as everyone else. A stage persona is simply that. It’s supposed to be exaggerated; if it isn’t, then it’s not entertaining.
If we came to see an Erika Jayne show what could we expect?
You’re gonna have a lot of fun, you’re gonna have a smile from ear-to-ear. The music is loud. It’s a lot of fun. It’s energy. It’s hair. It’s heels. It’s costumes. It’s a good time! And you should escape, and dance and forget your troubles. As corny as that may sound that’s really the truth.
Tonight at the Diamond Horseshoe 💎 #erikajayne #theprettymess #theprettymesskrewe #NYC 🙌🏻 #showgirl A video posted by Erika Jayne (@theprettymess) on
Sounds like a great night out. Would you come to the UK?
It is a fun night out. I have! I’ve performed in the UK and I would gladly come again. I love it.
As Erika Jayne you’re obviously very body confident – have you always been like that?
Well, I grew up a dancer, in a dance studio and in dance companies all my life. So – I’ve always used my body as a tool. I think when you come from that background – things that others may perceive as forward, I perceive as natural. I grew up a dancer – so it is what it is!
Following what’s been broadcast in the US, we’ve seen that there have been arguments surrounding Yolanda and her illness. Is it difficult hearing the other housewives talk about her behind her back? Do you sometimes feel like you’re her only ally?
Listen, here’s the thing, we’re talking about someone who is really ill. So it’s one thing to criticize my show, or say… whatever you want to say about others but when you’re talking about someone’s health, and someone who is really struggling – it’s hard to hear that. And, you know, I feel like sometimes I have to express myself a little bit louder… than I need to – than perhaps I want to – in order to make people listen.
I think that’s why you’ve gained quite a lot of respect because you’re just real – I think people really enjoy that.
I heard that before you were on Housewives you’d never seen an episode. Have you watched it now?
That is a true statement. I had not watched the Housewives before I was on Housewives and I did not watch an episode until after we came back from our trip. And then I sat down and I watched one episode and half of a reunion.
I think the show is put together beautifully. And watching it now having been on it and watching it now and writing the blog, I mean obviously there are things that are great and then there are things you go, ewww. But you know, that’s just part of the game.
What kind of things do you watch on TV?
I do. I watch The Knick, I watch Game of Thrones, I watch Penny Dreadful. I watch a lot of CNN. I watch Ray Donovan. What was I watching last night? Oh I was watching that OJ thing last night.
I love my series. I can’t wait for Game of Thrones. I’m super excited… I need to know if Jon Snow lives or dies.
I know – it’s the big question isn’t it?! It’s torture!
He’d better not die or I quit!
One last question, do you think you’ll stick around for another season of housewives because we’d love to see you back?
Well, thank you I appreciate that. Here’s the thing, I have to be… you know, who knows if I’ll be asked back or not? We’ll see!
If you were asked, would you like to or would you think definitely not?
I’m gonna wait until they ask… then answer.
That sounds like a good answer – keep the power in your hands!
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills airs on Lifetime on Tuesdays at 9pm.