Erika Jayne Admits It's 'Frightening' Returning to Music Without Tom Girardi: 'There’s No Net' (Exclusive)

The 'Real Housewives of Beverly Hills' star gets candid about her ex to PEOPLE, while discussing her new two-hour documentary, 'Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde'

<p>Denise Truscello/Getty for Live Nation Las Vegas</p> Erika Jayne at the opening of her Las Vegas show Bet It All on Blonde in August 2023

Denise Truscello/Getty for Live Nation Las Vegas

Erika Jayne at the opening of her Las Vegas show Bet It All on Blonde in August 2023

Erika Girardi had Tom Girardi in her corner when she launched her music career back in 2007.

But as she returned to the stage for her hit Las Vegas residency last year, the Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star tells PEOPLE felt her estranged husband's absence.

"On one hand, I felt empowered to be doing it on my own but it was frightening at the same time," says Erika, who performs under the moniker Erika Jayne. "Tom was someone I turned to for guidance on everything. He was a very big part of my life. I would really go to him and he would sort of talk me into feeling better, or push me to look at things a different way. And when you don't have that, you miss that."

"Right or wrong, however anybody feels about it, this was still a relationship that I had for over two decades," adds Erika, 52. "And that's not something you can just forget about."

Fans will see Erika's journey back to the mic in Bravo's new two-hour documentary, Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde, which premieres Wednesday.

"Now, I'm out there on the tightrope and there's no net," says Erika. "There's no husband, there's nobody to go home to guide me. I'm out here navigating it by myself. And it's easy to feel like, 'Oh s---, I hope I don't misstep.' "

Related: Erika Jayne Laughs Off Denise Richards' Lip-Synching Dig: 'She's Clearly Grasping for Something' (Exclusive)

Erika and Tom wed in 1999 and were married for 21 years until November 2020, when she filed for divorce.

Within a month, the now-disgraced and disbarred lawyer was tangled in a complicated web of legal controversies, including federal fraud charges in February 2023 related to his alleged embezzlement of $15 million of client funds — like those meant to be awarded to the victims' families of a 2018 plane crash — for his own personal spending.

His legal issues spilled over to Erika, who was named in a criminal and multiple civil suits for allegedly participating in the mistreatment of said funds. She's long denied she had any knowledge or involvement, and in August 2022, was cleared in the criminal case. She's since triumphed in some civil suits, though others remain.

Amid all the troubles, Erika and Tom's divorce has yet to be finalized. He's also been living in a "restricted memory care unit" at an assisted living facility since October 2022, following his dementia and late-onset Alzheimer's disease diagnosis in March 2021.

Steve Eichner/AP Erika Girardi and Tom Girardi
Steve Eichner/AP Erika Girardi and Tom Girardi

As Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde depicts, all of this weighed heavily on Erika as she prepped her stage return.

"Erika Jayne was always someone I could channel to feel free, but as you'll see, I had a really hard time finding her," Erika tells PEOPLE. "Just everything that's happened, it's changed me. I feel different now. So grabbing her from inside me again took some time."

"There were a lot of moments of self-doubt," she recalls. "I would just be like, 'Erika, come on, can you please just have fun? Can you please just remember why you love this so much?' And it wasn't easy because, you know, grief comes in waves. It can sneak up on you and sometimes steal the joy out of a process like this. Healing is a never-ending journey."

Asked how she's feeling today, Erika is realistic. "Today's a good day, but I can't say, I don't know that tomorrow will be great," she says.

"As my story goes on and as time goes on, I know I will be able to get back to Erika — because I know, down deep, I've never lost how I really feel," the singer continues. "I just have to remember that you can't live life by others' conditions and what they think you should or should not be feeling or doing. Because then, you're not living your life your way."

<p> Nicole Weingart/Bravo via Getty</p> Erika Jayne at BravoCon 2023

Nicole Weingart/Bravo via Getty

Erika Jayne at BravoCon 2023

Related: Erika Girardi Has Strong Words Regarding Divorce, Sees Vegas Residency as a ‘Rebirth’ (Exclusive)

Ultimately, Erika says she's "proud" of what she accomplished.

"It's not easy," Erika says of creating the stage show. "To put 80 minutes together in 30 days is unreal. And to only have two days in the theater where most people have two weeks, it was tough. But it was good, you know what I mean? It was amazing, but it was hard!"

She goes on to say she's "excited" for fans to see the documentary, and has "big plans" for the future of her provocative Vegas residency, fittingly called Bet It All on Blonde.

"I would love to take Bet it All on Blonde anywhere that they would have me," Erika notes. "We can take her on the road. It's a good time. It's a fun time. And the universe is listening. So if I pulled it out of thin air once, I can pull it out of thin air twice!"

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The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills reunion part 2 will air Wednesday at 8 p.m. ET, followed by the premiere of Erika Jayne: Bet It All on Blonde at 9 p.m. ET on Bravo. Both can be streamed on Peacock afterwards.

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Read the original article on People.