×
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

  • Mediapro Unveils The Mediapro Studio, With

    Spain's Mediapro Unveils New Studio, With 34 Series in Production (EXCLUSIVE)

    The Mediapro Group – the Barcelona-based multinational co-founded by Jaume Roures – is unveiling The Mediapro Studio, with 34 scripted series already in production worldwide. The new production company will be based in Fuencarral, northern Madrid, just a few miles from Netflix’s soon-to-open European production hub. It will be overseen by Javier Méndez as chief [...]

  • BBC Drama and Comedy Box Sets

    BBC Drama and Comedy Box Sets Coming to Sky, Now TV

    BBC Studios and Sky have joined forces to add a raft of catalogue comedy and drama from the pubcaster to the Sky platform and its Now TV streaming service. The deal kicks in next month and includes dramas “McMafia” and “Spooks” and classic BBC comedies “The Vicar of Dibley” and “Only Fools and Horses.” The [...]

  • Jim PackerPRESS PLAY: Variety Home Entertainment

    FilMart: Jim Packer Says Liongate Ready to Support Starz Global Rollout

    A keynote speaker at Hong Kong’s FilMart this week, Jim Packer, Lionsgate’s president of worldwide TV and digital distribution, shares plans to support Starz’ international expansion. And he recounts his experience of watching Netflix change up through the gears. Back in 2012, when Lionsgate was still casting “Orange is the New Black,” Jim Packer, Lionsgate’s [...]

  • Hong Kong's TVB Boosts OTT Plans,

    Hong Kong's TVB Boosts OTT Plans, Sets 'Court Lady'

    Hong Kong’s Television Broadcasts is set to boost its OTT platforms locally and abroad with new packages and initiatives targeting the Southeast Asian market. The city’s biggest broadcaster has also renewed its partnership with China’s Huanyu Entertainment following the wild success the two enjoyed last year with palace drama “Story of Yanxi Palace.” The new [...]

  • The Late Show with Stephen Colbert

    Stephen Colbert Cancels 'Late Show' New Zealand Trip After Mosque Shootings

    “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” had been scheduled to make a surprise trip to New Zealand this week — but those plans have been put on hold in light of last Friday’s terrorist attack that left 50 people dead. On Monday’s show, Colbert revealed the now-shelved trip, which had been kept under wraps but [...]

  • WGA Agents Contract Tug of War

    Hollywood Agents, Writers Guild Make Little Progress in Talks

    Leaders of Hollywood agencies and the Writers Guild of America made little progress in Tuesday meeting to negotiate proposed rule revisions to how agents represent writers. The WGA said after the meeting — the fifth since Feb. 5 — that talks would resume later this week but did not give a specific day. “The Agencies [...]

  • THE MASKED SINGER: L-R: Monster (T-Pain)

    New-Model Murdochs: Fox Corporation to Emerge Tuesday

    A new era for the Murdoch clan and the media business begins with the debut of Fox Corporation on Tuesday, a day before Disney completes its acquisition of 21st Century Fox. The new-model Fox will begin trading Tuesday on the NASDAQ under the FOXA symbol. On Tuesday, 21st Century Fox will initiate a complex transfer [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content