The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star and her estranged husband Tom Girardi are currently embroiled in an embezzling investigation that has exposed that her extravagant lifestyle was indeed "smoke and mirrors." As the Los Angeles Times' Meredith Blake points out, spending too much money is a common problem for Real Housewives stars, many of whom are engaged in a "glam arts race." "The saga, the heavily hyped focal point of the current season of Beverly Hills, makes Girardi the latest Real Housewife to contend with legal and financial difficulties connected to the fabulous persona they convey on TV," says Blake. "In March, Salt Lake City housewife Jen Shah was arrested on suspicion of running a vast telemarketing scheme targeting the elderly. New Jersey’s Teresa Giudice spent nearly a year in prison on multiple fraud charges. And while only a few Housewives have been implicated in such brazen white-collar crimes, the list of bankruptcies, foreclosures, tax liens and lawsuits involving cast members runs longer than Girardi’s hair extensions. Since the inception of Real Housewives, the sort of 'smoke and mirrors' Girardi described have been central to the show — and, arguably, one of the keys to its success."
TOPICS: Erika Girardi, Bravo, The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, The Real Housewives of New Jersey, The Real Housewives of Salt Lake City, Jen Shah, Teresa Giudice, The Real Housewives Franchise, Reality TV