What's Really Going On With Erika Girardi's Ex Tom's Conservatorship?

Britney Spears isn't the only one under a conservatorship who's in the news these days. "Real Housewives of Beverly Hills" star Erika Jayne's ex-husband Tom Girardi also has a conservator — though for very different reasons and under very different circumstances.

For one thing, the conservatorship might not be the biggest of Tom's problems at the moment. The lawyer, commonly known as the "Erin Brokovich lawyer," is the real-life attorney behind the movie's story. Unfortunately, his story may not be quite as wholesome as it was depicted — as Tom (and Erika) have been accused of embezzling millions from the families of plane crash victims, as well as other clients. He has also faced disciplinary action by the California state bar. Oh and he's also getting a divorce, which is a bummer for him.

Now, it is being argued in court that, like Britney Spears, Tom isn't even capable of managing his own day-to-day affairs. Here's what we know.

How Tom Girardi's conservatorship is different than Britney's

Tom Girardi's younger brother Robert has filed the official letters of conservatorship over Tom, according to People, making him the conservator over Tom's person and finances. The reason for this, according to court documents cited by People, is that Tom was diagnosed with dementia, a disease that impairs your mental ability and, importantly, doesn't improve. Robert was already granted a temporary conservatorship over his brother, but this file makes it official. And if we've learned anything about the nature of this situation, it's unlikely Tom will ever be in charge of his person or finances again.

As part of the conservatorship petition, Tom underwent a psychological evaluation. In a sworn statement, Dr. Nathan Lavid, a Long Beach forensic and clinical psychiatrist, wrote that Tom was unfit for any kind of court proceedings. "Dementia impairs his ability to understand the hearing," Lavid wrote. "His emotional distress is directly related to his dementia and exacerbated by his confusion."

Even though Tom himself stated that he disagrees with the conservatorship, a judge agreed with his brother Robert and the medical evaluations. Now, what this means for any criminal or civil suits brought against him regarding the embezzling and fraud accusations is a little unclear, as Tom didn't seem to have dementia when all of this started.