- Real Housewives of Beverly Hills -Do I Believe Erika Jayne Didn't Know Anything? Maybe.
Ok, I know what you're thinking. "Sam, are you fucking kidding me?" and listen, I get it. So let me start by clarifying, I am conflicted. I watched The Housewife and The Hustler and suddenly became Phaedra Parks Esq. and tweeted for two weeks about how Erika Jayne knew and was in on this whole alleged scheme of defrauding widows and orphans, then I watched Wednesday night's episode and if she is lying, then goddamn it, did she deliver a good performance. TBH, Oscar worthy. Let me plead my case (that I am only 65% sure of at this time, and of which I reserve the right to change by next week's episode).
PK (Paul Kemsley) put it best when he said that Erika is inherently cold. She isn't a naturally warm person; this is obvious and not something she really hides. She knows this about herself so when she shows up to Sutton's house and asks everyone how they're doing and what's going on, I was not shocked.
Also, I've done that, too. I don't like to sit around and talk about myself even when things are going on with me, so I don't think Erika is necessarily deflecting... it was more that she was just trying to make light of what she's going through, and I get that. She knows they know, she knows the time will come to talk about it and I don't think her walking through the door in tears is something anyone even expected her to do, so to me, that behavior is not at all suspicious. It is Erika we're talking about.
Rarely do I agree with Lisa Rinna, like rarely, BUT when she said that they needed to open up space for Erika to talk on the situation, I did see where she is coming from.
Lisa knows that Erika isn't going to just be forthcoming with what's going on, so what better way to get things going then to take her guard down by asking her about her dog Tiago and how he's adjusting to things. I found that very tactical and give Lisa some props for that subtle manipulation. Sutton then brings up her new car and Erika uses that as a way to circle it back to her new chapter in life, "letting go of the Lamborghini, let go of my 16,000 square foot home and let go of my marriage."
What I find interesting is you can tell Erika is more comfortable talking in her confessionals; it's gotta be similar to therapy in that the producers are asking her some tough questions about her personal life that she's buried down deep, and it's probably easier to be vulnerable in that setting, as opposed to opening up a table with six women. Erika's tone at the table is more cold, intentional, and thought-out, whereas in her confessionals you see she's on the verge of tears talking about the dissolution of her 22 year marriage. And in that moment she got me.
It made me think, whoa, this wasn't a quick little stint type of marriage, a "fake the world" situation as Karen Huger has called Ashley Darby's, it was more than that. And yes we all have our opinions on that age difference or how it happened but it must have worked on some level.
Erika went on to say that their conversations dwindled down to nothing, to a few sentences, and she would walk around her mansion feeling empty and that something had to give. "I couldn't live that way anymore," she said. The women are kind of keeping quiet on the whole thing, allowing that space for her to talk. If you press too much with Erika, she will clam up and shut down or get defensive.
What we have to remember is that she's married to a very powerful lawyer, one who had control over judges and law enforcement, as we learned in the "documentary" Housewife and The Hustler. I can't imagine having to go against someone like that, especially since there is no pre-nup. She didn't tell the women about her divorce sooner because she didn't want to put them in tough positions going forward, and again, I get it.
She knew that when the news broke they would immediately get flooded with questions so if they knew already, it would be hard to not give away more information and, in turn Erika was protecting herself by keeping the news close to the vest.
I also want to shout Erika out in admitting to dropping the divorce announcement news on Election Day so the story would get buried. I remember everyone on social media saying this why she did it then, and we were right. TBH, it was a smart move on her end. Was it buried? Not really, but it helped I think.
How Erika really opens up about her figuring her shit out over the course of a month – and the flashbacks of her selling her clothes, and moving her racks of them out of the house – it gave me chills. This is a woman who knew she married a powerful man and she needed to plan accordingly. She knows Tom. She knows that if she were to serve him with papers and still be around the house that it would get rough, things would be harder. Ending any relationship is hard, but one that provided her with so much, and that was 22 years long... that is even more difficult.
She knew the man he was when they got married, she knew the life she would have and I think she is very honest about that. She knew she was just a cocktail waitress and she "made good" (her words, not mine) with a very successful older man. But I can't imagine having to be in a marriage where you tell someone they hurt you and he dismisses you, for 20 years. That explains a lot about Erika actually. There was love there, you see it. It's not conventional but it worked until it didn't.
Now the question is, "did Erika know" and I think it's obvious she knew something but I don't think she knows everything. I think she knew something was coming because at the lunch she says, "it will be coming for me" and she is right. But what? We don't exactly know. Everyone (including me, last week) wants to just assume Erika is this evil mastermind, but I truly think Tom shut her out of a lot of things in their life. The way she describes their relationship was telling. He wouldn't even have conversations with her, let alone give her details about allegedly defrauding widows and orphans. She also said she was the third wife to live in that house, that they never built a life together, that it wasn't a traditional partnership. He built and she benefited. Again, I'M VERY CONFLICTED.
Her confessionals really did tug at my heart strings, though. They felt raw and honest and emotional in a way I have never seen from Erika. Like I said, if this is an act, she deserves to EGOT. But the story about her and Tom going to lunch with his colleague who said to them "if you were married to a better man, traffic would be no problem" and Tom without a pause said "well if you think you can afford her you can have her"... as if she is not a real person, or his wife. She's someone he "has" or owns. That also was a good look into their relationship, because fuck, how dismissive was that. Such a way to keep her down, to remind her, look, you are nothing without me. And that is tough. And the flashbacks when Rinna was talking about their power dynamic was... telling. That little man certainly wielded his power.
We all need to remind ourselves that we don't know everything. Probably never will. It's a natural human tendency to just be like "yup, this bitch knew and she was involved" but how much did she really know? How much was she really involved? We just don't know. I DON'T KNOW. All I know is she showed a much different side to her on Wednesday's episode, and for once, I think we were seeing the real side.