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Edelson PC, the law firm suing Tom Girardi and Erika Jayne on behalf of the Lion Air Flight 610 crash victims’ families, believes Diana Jenkins’ press release about her $100,000 donation to their cause was inappropriate.
“While Ms. Jenkins may be well-intentioned, we do not believe that issuing a press release and soliciting donations from the public without having done the necessary legwork is an appropriate way to proceed,” the firm’s founder, Jay Edelson, tells Page Six exclusively.
“That being said, we hope that this is not a publicity stunt and will reserve judgment until we hear directly from her.”
In August, Edelson PC issued at least $2 million to the five families who were allegedly scammed out of settlement money by Girardi’s former firm, Girardi & Keese, according to Reuters.
“As we previously announced, we have compensated the victims and are involved in ongoing litigation with those we believe were involved in the Girardi Ponzi scheme to both recoup our money and hopefully get additional damages for the Lion Air clients,” Edelson tells us.
“To the extent there are legitimate efforts made to provide donations [by Jenkins], 100% percent will go directly to the victims.”
The class action lawyer says Jenkins, 49, has not contacted the Chicago-based firm for assistance in locating the five families affected by Girardi’s alleged crimes or those of any of the other 184 crash victims.
“Ms. Jenkins never reached out to our firm and, other than what we have seen in the press, we know nothing about her claimed plans to donate money to the victims of this horrible tragedy,” Edelson says.
However, a spokesperson for Jenkins tells Page Six that the “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star’s donation has “zero” to do with any ongoing lawsuits and that she is raising funds out of “genuine compassion for the victims.”
“Ms. Jenkins feels badly for the families of all 189 people who lost their lives and is taking action to provide support to them,” the Bosnian-born philanthropist’s rep says.
“This has nothing to do with any past or ongoing litigation. It is simply a way for Ms. Jenkins, Sunela Foundation and its nonprofit partner GVNG to support the victims’ families.”
Jenkins’ spokesperson says no decision has been made about whether they will contact Edelson PC to reach the crash victims’ families, but they are working with GVNG, an established digital nonprofit that is assisting the Bravolebrity with fundraising efforts.
“All funds raised for the victims of Flight 610 will be collected, safeguarded and dispersed by GVNG to immediate family members of the 189 people who lost their lives,” the rep adds. “Details about how family members can apply for this support from GVNG will be released in the coming months.”
According to a campaign page, the Sunela Foundation has raised a total of $100,153.87 as of Wednesday afternoon, with the majority of the contributions coming from Jenkins herself.
On Monday, the reality star took to Instagram to encourage her followers to also donate.
“I am blessed to have the ability to help people who are suffering,” she wrote. “If you want to help the victims, please visit SunelaFoundation dot org. #rhobh #GVNG.”
Page Six exclusively learned last week that Jenkins apparently had another motive for helping the Lion Air crash victims: to make a dig to her “RHOBH” castmates — but not Jayne.
“This isn’t a dig at Erika,” a source close to Jenkins previously said.
“It’s actually meant to send a message to the cast members who have expressed support for Tom’s alleged victims, but never seem to do anything to help them.”
Jayne, 51, has denied any wrongdoing. Her estranged husband, Girardi, 83, was diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in February 2021 and has not addressed the allegations against him.
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