The world could use a little — okay a lot — of Erika Jayne right now, and luckily that’s what we’ll get when The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills returns for an eighth season tonight. The singer and television personality has been a breakout fan favorite since she joined the show in 2015, and went on to compete on Dancing With the Stars.
“I never thought I’d ever be on a reality TV show ever, so the fact I’m on one, back for three seasons, and having a good time is amazing,” Erika tells Yahoo Entertainment. When asked what fans can expect from the new season, she says it will be all about “lifestyle.”
“We travel a lot this year — Las Vegas, New York, Tokyo, Berlin. There’s a lot of lifestyle this year,” she says. While viewers love the glitz and glamour, it’s obviously not all champagne wishes and caviar dreams. “What will be most interesting is a shift in friendships,” she teases. “Obviously, there’s a new housewife, [which is] great for the viewers and interesting.”
The new girl is Teddi Jo Mellencamp, daughter of music legend John Mellencamp. Whether she will be loved or loathed by the audience (let’s be honest; it’s hit or miss for new housewives) remains to be seen. “That’s for you guys and the audience to decide,” Erika says. “I don’t want to give away too much. I think she’s got an interesting backstory and has something to say. We’ll see what everyone thinks.”
One tidbit Jayne was happy to share is that her relationship with Dorit Kemsley is in a good place after last season’s #PantyGate. “I moved on. I dropped it,” she says.
Jayne continues, “I think that it’s obvious by the trailer that Dorit and I have moved on from last year, which is something that I said [I wanted to do] at the final party last season. … ‘Let’s try, let’s go slow, let’s see what happens.’ It’s something we managed to do, so that’s different. It’s an evolution. The longer you’re on Housewives, the deeper your connections with the women become. You get to know everyone better each year and relationships become much more complex, and there are subtleties, and there are layers, and often that can create conflicts.”
While the 46-year-old “XXPEN$IVE” singer is known professionally as Erika Jayne, at home she is Erika Girardi. Her husband is famed Los Angeles lawyer Tom Girardi, 78, (one of his biggest cases was the inspiration for Erin Brockovich) and he couldn’t be more supportive of her stage persona and role on RHOBH. “I think Tom has been very successful for a long time, so for him it wasn’t much of an adjustment. He was used to that type of stuff,” she notes.
The couple will celebrate their 18th wedding anniversary next month, which is something of an anomaly in Hollywood these days. It’s an added “eff you” to castmates who have thrown shade at the couple’s 32-year age gap. So what makes their marriage work?
“I think — and I talk about this in my book — I really like Tom as a person,” she thoughtfully replies. “We see things the same way, and he’s incredibly bright. That is something I find incredibly attractive. I enjoy learning and asking questions, and he has an exciting career which is complex and always interesting. And I have my stuff going on.”
She continues, “We have things to talk about. We have goals. We have personal goals. We have goals as a family. And I think that what makes it interesting is we’re both really happy in our chosen careers and we’re happy for each other. We’re very supportive of each other. I’ve always admired Tom and his drive and his success, and he is Erika Jayne’s biggest cheerleader. That’s hard to find in any relationship or in any marriage whether you’re in Hollywood or middle America. To find someone that’s truly happy for your success and encourages you is damn near unheard of.”
Preach! The book Erika mentions is her upcoming memoir, Pretty Mess, due in March 2018. “You get a much more intimate picture of me as a wife, as a mom, as a person,” she shares. “I talk about the way I was raised, my relationship with [family]; things I’ve never discussed on TV. Just some funny stories, broke stories, frustrating stories. I think that it’s a human story. I hope that’s what people take away from it. We’re all the same; this just happens to be my story.”
Erika is also making a cameo in Kim Kardashian‘s story, as she has joined Kim Kardashian: Hollywood with her own avatar. (Fun fact: Kim’s former longtime assistant, Stephanie Shepherd, once worked for Erika Jayne.)
“I am so thrilled because — I was saying this the other day, and I really mean this — Kim is the pinnacle of pop culture, she really is,” she said. “She’s the pinnacle of this generation’s pop culture and she’s this generation’s Marilyn Monroe. When you look at her presence and what she’s done — what the whole family’s done, but specifically Kim — they are still on TV, people are still interested, and she continues to expand her empire. People are interested in her, she’s launched her makeup and her fragrance. I think she’s a very interesting, powerful woman. When I got the offer, I was completely flattered and thought it was totally cool. Now, little Erika Jayne is immortal now, and she’s running around as an avatar. It’s cool!”
Perhaps we can get a Keeping Up With the Kardashians–RHOBH crossover at some point. For now, you can tune in to see Erika Jayne tonight on Bravo when Season 8 premieres.
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