Erika Girardi and Tom Girardi’s split rocked the Bravo universe; however, it turns out the two had been living separate lives for a very long time.
On Tuesday, November 3, Erika announced she was divorcing Tom after 21-years of marriage.
The 49-year-old Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star confirmed the split in a statement.
“After much consideration, I have decided to end my marriage to Tom Girardi,” she said. “This is not a step taken lightly or easily. I have great love and respect for Tom and for our years and the lives we built together. It is my absolute wish to proceed through this process with respect, and with the privacy that both Tom and I deserved; I request others give us that privacy as well.”
Now, we are learning more about the couple’s “unconventional marriage.”
“Erika and Tom had an unconventional marriage, spending a lot of time apart. Several months,” a source tells Us Weekly. “They would travel separately. Tom gave Erika a very lavish lifestyle, and she enjoyed it.”
The source adds that the 49-year-old pop star “gained independence and confidence,” after joining the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills in 2015. “The exposure it has given for her singing career has given Erika a much larger fan base.”
Tom and Erika met in 1999 when the RHOBH star worked as a waitress at Chasen’s restaurant in Los Angeles. They wed later that year.
Over the years, Erika has defended the 32 year age difference between her and Tom on multiple occasions.
“It was always a bigger deal to everyone else than it was to either of us,” she wrote in her 2018 book, Pretty Mess. “All a couple really needs is to have the same life philosophy. If you see things the same way, then age, race, religion — none of that comes into play. I have a thirst for knowledge, and Tom has a wealth of it. He is a great mentor, a great teacher, and somebody I really admire.”
On season 10 of RHOBH, Erika was blunter, saying, “I’m tired of having to justify my 20-year marriage. Go get a 20-year marriage and then come f–king talk to me.”
The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills is expected to return for season 11 in mid-2021.