Judge Judy has been a staple of daytime TV for over two decades and now her massive salary has been revealed.
Judge Judy Sheindlin's salary amount came to light over a court case she herself has been caught up in. A talent agent named Richard Lawrence brought a lawsuit against Big Ticket Television and CBS, through his company Rebel Entertainment Partners, accusing them of overpaying the host and causing him to receive a lower commission rate.
The judge in the case disagreed with Lawrence, writing, “That Judge Sheindlin is paid more than other television hosts does not establish her salary is unreasonable or that Defendants negotiated the salary in bad faith.”
“Plaintiff has presented no evidence that the salary was negotiated in bad faith or is unreasonable in light of the undisputed ‘resounding success’ of Judge Judy and the fact that without its namesake star the show would not continue,” the judge added.
Bryan Freedman, an attorney for Lawrence, says that they plan to appeal the ruling.
“As for admitting and then ignoring Rebel’s uncontroverted expert opinion evidence that frontloading the 45 million dollar salary of Ms. Sheindlin was not consistent with the United States television industry, the court committed a reversible error,” Freedman said. “That issue will be decided by the court of appeal.”
Lawrence is suing because two producers of the show that he formally represented quit sending him residual checks about eight years ago. The producers refute his claims by saying that he was paid $17 million for "doing nothing."
He also alleges that he was not consulted about Hot Bench, a Judge Judy spinoff, and that this was a breach of contract. The producers claim that Hot Bench is not a spinoff and that it is fact a separate show which just so happens to be produced by Sheindlin.
The judge did rule in favor of Lawrence on this point, opting not to allow the defendants’ request to dismiss that claim as a matter of law.
“The ruling which granted a part of the motion and denied another part the motion does not affect the trial in this matter,” Freedman said. “All three causes of action are proceeding to trial and Rebel looks forward to prevailing in front of a jury.”
The is no word at this time on when the trial will begin.