Erika Jayne is being dragged on social media after her “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” co-star, Diana Jenkins, made a generous donation to the families of victims in the Lion Air crash.
For those unfamiliar, Lion Air flight 610 crashed into the Java Sea just 13 minutes after taking off from Jakarta, Indonesia, on October 29, 2018. All passengers and crew on board were killed. Erika’s ex husband Tom Girardi and his law firm represented some of the families of the victims. Girardi has since been accused of misappropriating settlement funds, according to court documents obtained by Heavy.
On September 7, 2022, Jenkins revealed that she’s donating $100,000 to the families of the victims of that crash.
“I was not aware of this tragedy until it became a topic of conversation on ‘Real Housewives of Beverly Hills,'” Jenkins said in a press release provided to Heavy.
Here’s what you need to know:
Jenkins Is Hoping That Others Will Take Action
In the press release, Jenkins encouraged others to donate and will be setting up instructions on how donations can be made, directly on The Sunela Foundation website.
As for why Jenkins decided to donate to the families of the victims in the Lion Air crash, she explained that it was something that she could really sympathize with.
“I feel so much sympathy for the widows and orphans left behind. I know firsthand the pain and suffering that accompanies the loss of a family member, having lost my brother in the closing days of the Bosnian War. I want to do what I can to support those people who suffered so much,” she was quoted as saying in the press release.
As far as the timing goes, well, Jenkins was tired of everyone continuing to talk about the families without taking any action.
“Some of the women have been talking about how bad they feel and she wanted to do something about it,” a source told Heavy exclusively.
The timing of Jenkins’ donation will coincide with the September 7, 2022, episode of RHOBH, during which there is going to be some back and forth between Erika and her other co-star, Crystal Kung Minkoff, about the families of the victims.
“You want to be on the side of the victims because you think it’s cool,” Erika tells Minkoff in a preview for the episode. Many of Erika’s co-stars, including Sutton Stracke, have questioned her potential involvement in her husband’s alleged illegal dealings. However, Jenkins is the only RHOBH star to make a donation to help (that the public is aware of).
Fans Are Criticizing Erika for not Donating to the Families Herself
Erika seemed to appreciate the kindness of Jenkins and left a string of red heart emoji in the comments section of the Instagram post. “Real Housewives” fans were quick to criticize Erika, who hasn’t donated or pledged any money to the victims’ families.
“Now it’s your turn sis. cmon, cough up them diamonds,” one comment read.
“Perhaps donate some of your RHOBH salary since you did directly benefit from the theft,” someone else suggested.
“Are you going to donate?? The ear rings don’t count…the court made you turn them over after a lengthy legal battle which you are appealing,” a third person questioned.
Heavy reached out to Erika’s rep for comment but did not hear back. However, Heavy spoke with Beverly Hills entertainment law attorney Mitra Ahouraian about the legalities surrounding the case and the possible reasons why Erika may have been advised not to donate to the families while the case is still open.
“Erika Jayne has several lawsuits against her and plaintiffs are seeking millions of dollars in damages, and she even is alleged to owe the IRS money that she says she doesn’t have. She’s not in any position to donate money to victim families at this stage until she sees how all her legal troubles shake out,” Ahouraian explained.
“If she owes the IRS, she risks having some of her assets being frozen. Erika Jayne is defending herself and maintaining she had no knowledge or culpability in her then-husband’s actions, so her options are to defend herself or settle. With that in mind, it doesn’t make sense to donate any money to victims before her fate is decided,” Ahouraian continued, adding that Jenkins can donate because she has “no direct tie to that tragedy.”