Erika Jayne—legal name Erika Girardi—is not your average Real Housewife. Yes, she’s blonde, beautiful and married to a man 32 years her senior. She’s also a pop star whose catchy, club-friendly songs, such as “Xxpensive” and “How Many F*cks,” garnered parody on Saturday Night Live and No. 1 slots on Billboard’s Dance Club Songs chart. (And, for the record, the answer to “How many?” is “None.”)
Since 2015, when she joined the sixth season of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills, Jayne’s on- and offstage-lives have been a source of fascination, so it’s only fitting that she released a memoir, Pretty Mess, in March. We caught up with Jayne during a shopping session at DSquared2 boutique after a book signing at The Shops at Crystals to talk about the book, Housewives and how life gets better with age.
Why was this the right time to write a book?
People have seen me on [The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills] for a long time now, and this felt like the right time to share more of my personal story that you can’t put into a TV show with an ensemble cast.
In the book, you refer to your decision to join the cast of The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills as “the best pivot of my life.” What advice would you share to someone at a pivotal moment in their own life?
Be brave. Step out on faith. Don’t hesitate. If you give up in the face of all of that, you never know “what if.” You’ll always wonder, “What would have happened if I stuck it out?”
You wrote in the book, “America doesn’t want real, raw, brazen sexuality in their faces, especially from a woman my age,” with reference to judgment you experienced as a contestant on Dancing With the Stars and from some Real Housewives castmates. What has allowed you to recognize that judgment without being hindered by it?
I’ve always kind of shrugged off old beliefs. I’ve struck my own path and I refuse to be told that my time is up and to go sit down. We’re selling ourselves short as women if we think that once we turn 30, it’s all over. People are living longer, they’re active longer, they’re expected to work for longer. As women, I think our worth only increases as we get older. I feel more comfortable in my skin at 46 than I did at 26.
What are you most proud of and what do you still hope to accomplish?
I’m most proud of moments like tonight, when I put my personal story out there. I would have never thought I would write a memoir. I would have never thought it would be on the New York Times bestseller list in one week. To see people supporting me like that and saying, “You encouraged me,” or “Thank you for telling your story,” that, to me, is everything. What is there left to do? Keep on the same path. Who knows? I say yes to everything. When you say yes, lots of good things come your way.