Is Judge Judy’s $47 Million Salary Too High? Real Judge Says No
Judge Judy Sheindlin is keeping her $47 million salary—a judge has ruled that her income from CBS isn’t too high after all.
In March 2016, Sheindlin’s talent agent Richard Lawrence and his company Rebel Entertainment Partners filed a lawsuit against CBS and a production company owned and operated by CBS Television Studios called Big Ticket Television. They argued that they were cut out from profits made by the syndicated Judge Judy show.
The agency wanted 5 percent of the show’s net profits but received nothing because of Sheindlin’s higher-than-average annual salary. The way her deal is structured wipes out net profits because the $47 million is deducted from expenses.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Joanne O’Donnell ruled on Tuesday that just because Judge Sheindlin is “paid more than other television hosts does not establish her salary is unreasonable,” according to Variety.
Meanwhile, The Hollywood Reporter obtained access to the official court docs which reveal more on O’Donnell’s ruling: “Her present salary was the result of arms-length negotiation and Judge Sheindlin’s final ‘take-it-or-leave-it’ offer. 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 could not continue.”
During her deposition in 2016, Sheindlin revealed she re-negotiates her contract with CBS every three years.
“They pay me the money that they do because they have no choice.” she said. “They can’t find another one. They’ve tried to find another Judy. If they find another Judy, good for them. So far they haven’t.”
Check out Judge Judy in action below: