After divorcing her baby daddy shortly after giving birth, Girardi made the decision to leave her son in New York City in her ex-husband’s care so she could pursue her dream of becoming a star. “It was the biggest risk I’ve ever taken,” she told People. “I was panicked, but I was committed to succeeding.”

She made the journey to Los Angeles and when she wasn’t auditioning for roles, she was working as a cocktail waitress at a restaurant. That’s where she met her husband, mega-successful attorney Tom, whose claim to fame was his work on the real-life Erin Brockovich case. After their courtship, the couple was married in 1999 and she immediately became immersed in his flashy and affluent lifestyle. “I was living Tom’s life,” she said. “There are only so many material things you can have before it becomes boring. There are only so many dinners, so many things you can buy. I was complacent. I was in a wealthy coma and I wasn’t looking inward.”

She could’ve lived out the rest of her life as a pampered wife but Girardi said, “I had to be brave enough to say, ‘I’m not fulfilled.'” Soon enough, she began crafting her Erika Jayne persona in preparation to dominate the pop charts. 

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