11 Things You Didn’t Know About RHOBH Star Erika Girardi
Erika Girardi is no doubt one of the most interesting women to have ever been cast in the entire Real Housewives franchise. Unlike some of the other women on the show, Girardi doesn’t get too caught up in the drama and she seems to just be a totally genuine person…who also happens to have a lot of money and a hugely successful singing career with nine No. 1 hits! She rose to fame under the alter ego she uses to perform, but we want to know more about the woman behind Erika Jayne! The most recent season of RHOBH is currently underway, so let’s take a look at 11 things you might not have known about Erika Girardi:
11. She’s From Atlanta
She was born on July 10th in 1971, but she definitely does not look her age! Erika grew up in Atlanta and was raised by her single mother. She attended North Atlanta High School, but as soon as she graduated, she moved to New York City when she was 18. She got married and had a son shortly after. That marriage didn’t last long and she was eventually divorced. She then moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actress and singer. Her son is now in his mid-twenties and works as a police officer.
10. Tom Girardi
Erika met her long-time husband, Thomas Girardi, while working as a cocktail waitress in L.A. According to her, he was one of her regular customers before they started dating. Thomas is 32-years older than Erika and just happens to be one of the most high profile lawyers in Los Angeles. He’s the founding partner of Girardi & Keese law firm, but is most famous for his work on the case that inspired the film, Erin Brockovich. He was also the first attorney in California to win a $1 million-plus award for a medical malpractice case. She married him in 1999, so they’ve been together for 18 years. They currently live in Pasadena, California.
9. Musical Success
One of the most interesting things about the Beverly Hills reality star is that she’s also an extremely successful singer. She releases her music under her alter ego, “Erika Jayne,” who is completely separate from the person she is in everyday life. To this date she’s had a whopping nine No. 1 singles on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play charts. She started releasing music in 2007 and in 2009 she released the album Pretty Mess, arguably her most famous album, which spawned four No. 1 singles. She created her own record label, Pretty Mess Records, in 2010 and in 2011 she recorded a song for the soundtrack to The Watch, starring Ben Stiller and Vince Vaughn. Her music has been featured in other films like The Neighbor, Deal and the reality show, Toddlers and Tiaras. In 2013 she collaborated with Flo Rida on the single, “Get it Tonight,” and released her newest single, “Xxpensive,” in 2017.
8. Prince is her Idol
When asked what her first real memory of music is, she said it was at a Madonna and Prince concert. “My first real memory was a Madonna concert and I think it still lives with me and I saw Prince coming up. Michael was huge in my life. Dance music, if you will, I didn’t discover until I was allowed to go to nightclubs. That happened later on, they’re just some of my most fond memories,” she said. She has also said that Prince is one of her biggest inspirations. “I’ve always loved the erotic quality of Prince. I just think he’s a musical genius and I’ve always admired everything that he’s done.” She got to work with his protegee Shelia E. on her single, “Time to Realize.”
7. She Didn’t Drink During Season 1
In an interview with Mario Lopez on Extra, Erika revealed that she didn’t have one sip of alcohol while filming the first season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills. “My first season I was completely sober. I did not have a drink at all because I knew things would escalate and I knew that that’s where you could get into trouble,” she said. What a smart girl!
6. Why She Joined the Real Housewives
Similar to many of the other women who have joined the reality series, Erika told Entertainment Tonight one of the main reasons she joined the cast was to promote her brand, aka her alter ego “Erika Jayne,” and expand her audience. “Well, it would be wrong of me not to point out the attention that the show has brought to Erika Jayne. She used to only live in the clubs, but now she’s in peoples’ living rooms. I gathered a whole new fan base. I was mostly only known in the LGBTQ community, but now I’m known far and wide by everyday people, which I think is wonderful,” she said.
5. She’s Afraid of the Dark
In an interview with Hollywood Life, she said her biggest fear is the dark! “I’m afraid of the dark. I think monsters are going to get me. I like to watch paranormal movies on A&E, celebrity ghost stories. But I definitely get afraid at the same time. I’m a big scaredy cat,” she said.
4. Grew Up Around Music
Her mother is a classically trained pianist and worked as a piano teacher when Girardi was little. “You know, one of my special childhood memories is waking up on the weekend and listening to my mother playing downstairs,” she said in an interview with AceShowbiz. “So, we would have all these beautiful classical music in the house and that was such a wonderful feeling. So, sure. She’s been an influence on my musical career.”
3. Always Been a Performer
Erika has said more than once that she was born to be a performer. It’s something she’s wanted to be since she was a little girl, which makes sense cause she’s a natural! She’s been performing since she was 3-years-old and even enrolled in a magnet program for the performing arts in high school. “That’s where you really learned to love the stage and really hone your early performing skills. I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in the world! I think that every kid who wants to perform should have the luxury of going to a performing high school because it’s really where you discover your early artistry, who you are, and what you want to do next,” she said.
2. She Keeps Good Company
Viewers of RHOBH will notice that Mikey Minden is Erika’s right hand man. He’s in a lot of scenes with her and even went on the Real Housewives trips! He’s credited as her choreographer. He’s actually quite famous himself as he’s worked with artists like Pussycat Dolls, Pink and Usher. She also had celebrity and fashion photographer, Mike Ruiz, direct her music videos for the singles “Pretty Mess” and “One Hot Pleasure.”
In 2009 she gave an interview to Sheknows.com and admitted to being a bit of a tomboy which is something we’d never take Erika Girardi for! When asked what she likes to do in her spare time besides singing and dancing, she replied with this: “You know, I’m kind of a tomboy. I love to fish. I like to fish. I love to stay outdoors. I’m a big sports fan and go to games. I don’t care what they are. I love to gamble and go to Vegas,” she said. Who knew this diva was such a tomboy!