When Joe Biden came to Los Angeles to raise money for his presidential campaign, Tom Girardi filled a Jonathan Club dining room with wealthy lawyers.
“Obviously everyone’s thinking about your world – and they should,” Girardi told Biden as his then-wife, “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne, was dressed in a elegant blue dress.
The 2019 Breakfast Fundraiser at the Downtown Private Club was in many ways the end of an era. By the time Biden was elected last fall, Girardi’s life and legal empire was falling apart. His fortune, once estimated at north of $ 250 million, is gone and with it his reputation as one of the most connected and respected lawyers in the country. As Girardi faces bankruptcy, divorce and a criminal investigation, his days as a political insider and power broker appear to be over.
For decades, however, politicians were happy to take his money and accept his demands for something in return. With his family and his employees, Girardi contributed more of $ 7.3 million to applicants.
He could have governments. Gavin Newsom and Jerry Brown on the phone with ease, associates said. He and Jayne traveled regularly to Washington, DC, where then Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid appointed him to a board of the Library of Congress. Former Supreme Court Justice Anthony Kennedy spoke at the 2002 dedication of a Loyola Law School building named in honor of Girardi’s father.
The couple constantly went to political events or dinner parties, Jayne recalls in her …
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