Judge Judy Sheindlin may be walking away from her namesake talk show after 25 years, but she isn't ready to walk away from that "TV's highest-paid host" title. As the famed TV courtroom judge prepares to embark on an all-new TV venture with Judy Justice on Amazon's ad-supported IMDb TV, Sheindlin got candid about her salary for the new show, revealing that she plans to remain TV's highest-paid host.
With Judge Judy set to come to an end later this year, Sheindlin spoke to The Hollywood Reporter about everything from that controversial new hairstyle to her thoughts on retirement and her upcoming series. Asked how the salary negotiations went with Amazon for Judy Justice, the 78-year-old revealed they were relatively easy thanks to how well-known her compensation has been. In a Forbes ranking, Sheindlin took the spot as the highest-paid talk show host, and numerous reports have stated she earns around $47 million per year on Judge Judy. She told THR, "without giving you specifics, because that's a little unseemly, my compensation has not been a secret," adding that "it's been out there for a long time — not by me, but it got out there and had its own life." She said that "the folks at Amazon understood what the parameters were" and there "was no issue" when it came to those salary talks.
According to Celebrity Net Worth, Sheindlin has amassed a massive $440 million net worth, a number that has skyrocketed in the last decade. In 2009, she was estimated to be worth $50 million, reaching $130 million in 2011 before surpassing the $200 million mark just two years later in 2013. By 2018, her net worth jumped to $420 million, and has only continued to grow since then. Her salary has seen a similar boost, as she earned $15 million in 2005, with her annual salary now estimated to be $47 million per year. Those numbers have become a large part of what THR dubbed Sheindlin's "lore," something she also discussed in the interview.
"The People's Court, they've had several judges. The Tonight Show has had several hosts. But I Love Lucy only had one Lucille Ball," Sheindlin said. "So, almost 20 years ago, I told the company that I worked for this: 'I want to be more of a partner. Don't treat me as a paid employee. I could make this show without you — I created a deal where I could do that — but you can't make it without me. I can take Judy Sheindlin anywhere else. And good luck with you if you can find somebody else. Otherwise, let's share the gift that this program has brought to both of us.' I don't think that there's anything unreasonable about that."
While Judge Judy officially wrapped filming in April, the courtroom series' final episodes are not set to air until later this year. Sheindlin, meanwhile, will be hard at work at Judy Justice, as the show's team has "to deliver a certain number of episodes by December." She said that after those episodes are delivered, "Amazon will make the determination how and when they want to release this show."