Read our coverage of Tom and Erika Girardi and “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” here.

This season, “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” turned in one of its most compelling storylines in years: Cast member Erika Girardi filing for divorce from husband Tom Girardi in the midst of filming, just as the powerful attorney and Democratic political donor — who won the case that inspired “Erin Brockovich” — was accused of stealing millions from his clients.

The (apparently) sudden collapse of the marriage caught Girardi’s cast mates by surprise, and set off a season’s worth of questions about the allegations against Tom, what Erika knew and when, and whether the women of “Beverly Hills” should believe a friend who’d kept her troubled relationship with her husband secret so long. Fans haven’t been able to get enough either, offering close readings of Erika’s on-screen crying and celebrating new housewife Sutton Stracke for asking the tough questions.

At the center of it all has been reporting by Los Angeles Times staffers Matt Hamilton and Harriet Ryan. In a series of in-depth stories on the case, they’ve detailed the allegations against Tom Girardi, developments in his conservatorship and bankruptcy cases, and where Erika Girardi might fit into it all.

Before the fourth and final part of “The Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” reunion airs Wednesday, Hamilton and Ryan agreed to answer senior editor Matt Brennan’s questions about what…

Read more…