Erika Jayne Is Smarter Than You Think
Women are jealous of her, gay men are in love with her, and young girls want to be just like her. But that’s just what happens when you’re Erika Jayne — housewife by day and dance-pop star by night.
It’s hard to see Erika as a housewife, and no, it’s not because of her voluminous hair, false lashes, and full lips — it’s her personal success and no bullshit attitude. Before joining the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Erika, who is married to famed attorney Tom Girardi, maintained a successful singing career with several No. 1 songs on the Billboard Hot Dance Club Play chart.
Between judgement of her sexy music videos and marriage to a man who is 30 years her senior, Erika’s spent her first season on the RHOBH brushing off the constant criticisms inflicted on her by the other cast members. How? You know, just by not engaging “in the petty shit.”
While disengaging is a great way to keep it classy, Erika knows how to stand up for herself. “You don’t need to be a punk or lay down,” she said. “You have to know what to fight for and pick and choose your battles.”
But for Erika Jayne, surface-level judgements simply aren’t that concerning. “I have a lot of empathy. I think that’s the thing that people might not see, because there’s so much other stuff going on, like hair, boobs, and makeup,” she revealed. “Perhaps people don’t see that.”
In the q+a below, Erika opens up about how she handles jealousy between a group of women, what her friendship with Yolanda means to her, why “cunty” is the new “fierce,” and what it’s like to be married to an older man.
Being on Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, you have to handle a lot of jealousy between women. What are some of your tips for handling that?
You have to rise above it all. You cannot engage in that stuff. I don’t care what they say to you or what they do to you—you cannot buy into it. That says more about them than it does about you. You have to focus on your job, what you’re there to do, and you truly have to roll with the punches. You don’t need to be a punk or lay down, but what you can’t do is engage in the petty shit. It will just tear you down. You have to know what to fight for and pick and choose your battles.
Do you think you fight for yourself or for other people more?
I think I’ll do both. I’ll fight for somebody who is struggling, but I’m definitely not going to let somebody push me around.
Do you guard yourself more now that you’re on the show?
I think naturally I’m pretty guarded, so that kind of carries over. I don’t necessarily think that’s a bad thing in life—to be careful of who you completely open yourself up to.
What’s the biggest thing you want RHOBH viewers to understand about you?
I think that people see me as compassionate. I’m very sensitive. I worry about other people. I have a lot of empathy. I think that’s the thing that people might not see, because there’s so much other stuff going on, like hair, boobs, and makeup. Perhaps people don’t see that.
How have things changed since you’ve started the show?
I get recognized everywhere I go.
By a different demographic?
Exactly. I was with my son at the Urth Caffé in Pasadena, and I was just coming down from the gym with no makeup. I had on a hoodie, a pair of sunglasses, and a headband. I mean, there was no way this person could’ve known it was me, but they did. There’s a lot of ages that watch the show, so being recognized more would be the biggest change.
You have a son! How do you handle when he brings girls over to meet you? What kind of mom are you in that situation?
I’m a good mom. I hate saying I’m a cool mom, because it sounds like Mean Girls, but I am a laid back mom and a very accepting one. Fortunately for me, he has great taste in women. He picks good girls. He would never bring someone home that was insane. I mean, or else we’d have to have a talk about it.
Picking up Yolanda in a private jet after her surgery was the nicest thing a friend could ever do. For you, what is the key to a good friendship?
I think understanding, compassion, and being there for them when they need you.
Has there been anyone on the show who has been there for you in that way?
When I was coming on the show, Yolanda was a really great friend to me. She told me two things: First, get out there and figure it out for yourself. Second, don’t let my experience or anyone else’s experience color what you’re about to go through. She was just really supportive of me. She was like, “You’re strong. You can do this. Get out there.” She made it a lot easier to join the cast.
Did you feel like some other cast members were less accepting of you coming on the show?
Listen. Everyone on the show is competitive. Everyone on the show has a strong personality. You’re not going to gel with everyone at every time. You’re just going to gravitate to the personalities that you fit with.
Will you be that way with new members on future seasons?
I’m down to be good to anyone who comes on board. I’m not going to be that girl.
Why do you feel protective of Yolanda?
She’s not there to fight for herself, or even to explain herself. I know that it looks mysterious and I know that it looks a different way one day from the next. But you know, you can’t beat up on those who are in their time of need—TV show or not. It’s just not fair.
How do you handle people on the show who have opinions about you being a wife and also a musician?
I don’t think you live your life for anyone but yourself. You’ll never be happy if you’re constantly worried about what other people think of you. You have to be willing to take the good with the bad. Nothing worth having comes easy. It doesn’t matter what anyone else thinks of you at the end of the day.
What’s some grounding advice that Erika Girardi gives Erika Jayne?
Relax! It’s not that serious.
You came from a middle class family. What’s been the hardest part of transitioning into the world of the wealthy?
I think the hardest thing is finding people who feel the same way or who aren’t identified by their wealth. Finding people who simply are wealthy, whose whole person doesn’t rely on how much money they have or what kind of car they drive. That’s the hardest part at this level. Also, finding people who really like you for you and not for what you have or even what you can possibly do for them.
What is the biggest misconception people have about marriage?
That we couldn’t possibly have fun together.
What about the best part of being married to an older man?
The understanding and wisdom that comes with him. My husband is so established in his position. He’s like a walking, talking encyclopedia. He knows facts about everything!
What are some things you’ve taught him?
He’s come out of his skin a little bit. He’s always been social, but I’ve really turned him into, you know… He’s on his iPad; he’s wanting to watch cool shows. I think I’ve skewed his entertainment level. He came to my New Years Eve show. I just get him out there. I show him new music. He has young taste.
What are your tips for keeping things exciting in the bedroom?
Make time for it.
Are you a fan of sex toys?
Do you have a signature dance move?
Pat the puss!
What’s the proper definition of “cunty?”
Fierce, fun, and fearless.
Photos by Prince + Jacob