×
You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

‘Judge Judy’ Sheindlin Slams ‘Hilarious’ Lawsuit Over Her Salary

Talent agency Rebel Entertainment Partners claims it has not received contractually obligated payments from CBS since 2010

Judge Judy Sheindlin has fired back against a lawsuit claiming that her outsize salary has driven her CBS-syndicated courtroom show into the red.

Talent agency Rebel Entertainment Partners said in a suit filed Monday that it has not received contractually obligated payments for “Judge Judy” since 2010, because the show is losing money due to Sheindlin’s annual salary of as much as $47 million.

“The fact that Richard Lawrence is complaining about my salary is actually hilarious,” Sheindlin said in a statement Monday. “I met Mr. Lawrence for 2 hours some 21 years ago. Neither I nor anyone involved in the day-to-day production of my program has heard from him in 20 years. Not a card, not a gift, not a flower, not a congratulations. Yet he has somehow received over $17,000,000 from my program. My rudimentary math translates that into $8,500,000 an hour for Mr. Lawrence. Not a bad payday. Now complaining about not getting enough money, that’s real chutzpah!”

Sheindlin renewed her deal with CBS in 2013 and signed an extension in 2015. Rebel Entertainment Partners’ successor-in-interest claims in the suit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, that in “the six-month accounting period after Scheindlin’s pay raise … defendants reported net profits of negative $3,195,217.” The suit also claims that “in the six-month accounting period prior to Scheindlin’s pay raise, the show reported net profits of $3,572,195, of which 5% ($178,609) was paid to Rebel.”

The suit calls Sheindlin’s salary “grossly inconsistent with customary practice in the television industry.”

Sheindlin is not named as a plaintiff in the suit, which also claims that CBS Studios, CBS Corp., and CBS-owned Big Ticket Entertainment cut Rebel out of potential profits “by licensing the show to CBS’s corporate affiliates — television stations owned or operated by CBS — for below-market fees in transactions that were not negotiated at arms-length.”

The lawsuit also asserts that CBS was obligated to discuss a packaging fee with Rebel for any “Judge Judy” spinoffs, but did not do so before the launch of “Hot Bench,” a syndicated show created by Sheindlin. In her statement, Sheindlin added, “Since I have not spoken with Mr. Lawrence in over 20 years to suggest that he had any involvement in my creating Hot Bench is equally laughable.”

Rebel, which is seeking undisclosed damages, claims that “Judge Judy” has grossed $1.7 billion since it premiered in 1996, and that Rebel received regular payments for the show until 2010.

Attorneys Bryan Freedman and Jordan Sussman are representing Rebel. Freedman has represented Variety’s parent company PMC in multiple legal matters.

More TV

  • Pete Davidson photographed by Peggy Sirota

    Pete Davidson Posts Unsettling Message, Deletes Instagram

    UPDATED: “Saturday Night Live” cast member Pete Davidson posted a disturbing message Saturday morning stating he doesn’t “want to be on this earth anymore,” then deleted his Instagram account. In the post, Davidson wrote, “I’m doing my best to stay here for you but i actually don’t know how much longer i can last. all [...]

  • Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor

    Disney Channel Fires 'Andi Mack' Actor Arrested for Plotting Sex With Minor

    Disney Channel has severed ties with “Andi Mack” actor Stoney Westmoreland following his arrest for allegedly trying to arrange a sexual encounter with a 13-year-old. “Stoney Westmoreland, an actor working on the series ‘Andi Mack,’ was arrested in Salt Lake City today,” a Disney Channel spokesperson said in a statement Friday. “Given the nature of [...]

  • Russian Doll

    TV News Roundup: Natasha Lyonne's 'Russian Doll' Sets Netflix Premiere Date

    On Friday’s roundup, Netflix announces the premiere date for “Russian Doll” and Benedict Cumberbatch’s “Brexit” film has a premiere date on HBO FIRST LOOKS Showtime has released a new teaser for the upcoming comedy series, “Black Monday,” which will premiere Sunday, Jan. 20 at 10 p.m. ET/PT. The series stars and is executive produced by Don [...]

  • Vanity Fair Review

    TV Review: 'Vanity Fair'

    There’s something comforting about the predictability of a period piece novel adaptation in the Masterpiece Theater tradition. Knowing the story, or even just the rhythms of the genre, there are rarely many surprises. The women will toss off witticisms and cry careful, pretty tears; the men will steel their jaws and declare their love, ideally [...]

  • FILE - In this April 5,

    CBS Claims Commitment to Ending Harassment. Its Actions Say Otherwise (Column)

    At this point, a new breaking sexual harassment case at CBS isn’t exactly a surprise. Over and over again, powerful CBS company men from producers to executives to the ex-CEO himself have made headlines for propagating decades of harassment and abuse, with dozens of witnesses affirming that the pattern was business as usual. But as [...]

  • Willow ShieldsVariety Portrait Studio, Beautycon Festival

    'Hunger Games' Alum Willow Shields Joins Netflix Drama Series 'Spinning Out'

    Willow Shields has been cast in a series regular role in “Spinning Out,” the upcoming ice skating drama series at Netflix. She joins a cast that also includes Kaya Scodelario, who was announced as the series lead on Thursday, taking over the role originally held by Emma Roberts. Shields will star as Serena, Kat Baker’s (Scodelario) [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content