Tom Girardi will not take the stand in a class-action suit against him by Lion Air Flight 610 victims.
The disgraced lawyer, 82, told a federal judge in Chicago on Monday that he would invoke his Fifth Amendment right to remain silent if he was called to testify, Law360 reported Tuesday.
The hearing is scheduled for mid-September, so in theory, Girardi could change his mind based on advice from his team. Per Cornell Law School, a witness may plead or “take” the Fifth if they believe “answering the question may be self-incriminatory.”
“Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Erika Jayne’s estranged husband was previously held in contempt of court in the suit in December after the judge found that he and his law firm, Girardi Keese, firm were unable to explain where $2 million earmarked for the victims of the October 2018 plane crash went.
Girardi and his firm’s assets were frozen as a result.
Jayne, 50, and Girardi were first sued by Edelson PC, a class-action firm, on behalf of the victims in December for allegedly embezzling funds meant for the orphans and widows of the accident through their “sham” divorce.
However, a judge ruled that victims can seek money from the reality star, as she received money into her business accounts from Girardi Keese prior to her November 2020 divorce filing.
His legal issues may be taking a toll on Girardi, as he was recently spotted with a black eye and frail frame. Currently, he is under a conservatorship, with his brother Robert acting as his conservator.
Girardi lost his license to practice law in March, around the same time he was diagnosed with late-onset Alzheimer’s disease and dementia.