Judge Judy earns $45 million per year, while her show pays fake judgments

Dave Masko's picture

The Judge Judy show is both mean spirited and a sham, where the multi-millionaire “judge” – who now makes $45 million a year – renders judgments with her show actually paying off the “real people” who come to her for justice.

Her real name is Judy Sheindlin, and she turns 70 this year. Sheindlin runs a “Kangaroo Court” – a term which refers to a bogus court or sham legal proceeds – on the number one syndicated show on television, simply called “Judge Judy.” In fact, Sheindlin – who’s an actual judge – is often parodied on “Saturday Night Live” for embarrassing court room guests on the show with such statements as: "Get a job and pay for your bail!" "Are you an idiot or are you just not paying attention?" "Let me explain something to you Mr. Grunt: I don't like you." "Do your math . . . use your fingers and toes!" “It's been reported Judy Sheindlin now makes $45 million a year - enough for a 13-acre spread in suburban Connecticut whose professional-type stove, she claims, she doesn't know how to turn on,” reported CBS “Sunday Morning” TV program Jan. 8; while also noting how this TV show’s pitch -- “plaintiffs and defendants ‘tell it to the judge’ at their own risk,” is a fake, after CBS News broke the real story that “the show that pays the damages, not the bickering parties. Still, the judge insists the stakes are still high because people want to air their grievances.”

"Most of these people are involved in the emotion of the relationship that caused them to come here in the first place," said Sheindlin, who seems just as surly in real life as she does on her “Judge Judy” show.

Here comes the fake judge

In case you are wondering, CBS News reported that “the cases on ‘Judge Judy’ are real, culled from court dockets around the country. Both sides must agree to abide by whatever the judge rules.”

However, critics of the show say that the real life Judy Sheindlin is “way to rich at making $45 million a year – for the past 16 years that the show’s been on the air – to have real empathy, while practicing the principles of law and justice, for people that “she abuses on the show, who are obviously chosen because they’re very poor or mentally ill. She’s a fake judge, handing out some sort of warped justice while laughing all the way to the bank,” said a TV critic.

Still, Judge Judy Sheindlin gives no quarter because she’s filthy rich and seemingly above all who enter her TV courtroom.

Judge Judy is mean spirited

Other critics of Judge Judy’s style say her unkind nature is a “character flaw,” and many who watch the show don’t like her but “enjoy watching a train wreck happen.”

In fact, the CBS News Sunday Morning profile called Sheindlin “the tough-as-nails terror of daytime TV.”

Moreover, Judge Judy is likened to a drill sergeant: "It's 'Look into my eyes. Don't talk when talking, just shape up.'"

"I think I'm a good fact finder," said Sheindlin during the CBS News interview. "And if you should've brought that piece of evidence and you didn't, that is not my fault. And if you're 22 years old and if I say to you, 'On what day were you arrested?' and you say to me, 'Which time?' that is not a good thing."

Prior to landing the role of “Judge Judy” back in 1996, Scheindlin was known as a “tough judge for 14 years on New York City’s family court.” During a “60 Minutes” profile of her method’s in 1993 -- prior to the landing the Judge Judy show – she was called a “hoot” for her rude behavior in the courtroom.

"If that's too hard for you, sir, then I'm gonna put you somewhere where you're gonna be in bed at 9 o'clock - that's where your friends are!" This was a statement from Scheindlin from the 60 Minutes program from a recording of this foul-mouthed judge in a real New York courtroom.

Judge Judy makes millions insulting poor folks

"I say it in a lot of different ways, but the message is, it's your life, live it well,” adds Scheindlin to the CBS Sunday Morning interview while not taking any tough questions her show that’s pitched as something where “justice is dispensed at the speed of light.”

While Judge Judy gets to use such catchphrases as “Baloney,” or her view that “If something doesn’t make sense, it’s usually not true,” there’s no talking back to this “fake” TV judge who’s credited with stating more unkind and politically incorrect statements about women, minorities and other issues while deceiving her TV audience by pretending to make people pay for their wrongs when all along her show’s producers are paying off the one’s Judge Judy calls “bad guys.”

Also, the Judge Judy show has been accused of “bad faith,” a legal concept which refers to malicious intention of a person (Judge Judy) who enters into a legal procedure with an intention to “deceive or mislead” her the show’s audience by thinking the judge is being real; when all along it’s for the show’s gains.

Judge Judy the queen of rude

Sheindlin seems to really enjoy her role of “Judge Judy.” For instance, she often makes such remarks as "I'm speaking!" She likes to be the boss, say critics.

She then will call people: "Liar, liar, pants on fire.” "Listen to me: You are an outrageous person,” or "Sir, you want to say something to me? You sure you want to say something to me? And, she asserts: "You mess around with me young lady; I'll wipe the floor with you.”

Sheindlin was awarded a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame for her bad mouth and fake judgments as "Judge Judy," added one TV critic.

Image source of Judith Sheindlin who makes a reported $45 million a year playing “Judge Judy” on a TV court show. Photo courtesy Wikipedia


Submitted by JJO (not verified) on
I have been watching the show all these years and I have never seen an instance where she wasn't justified. (my mother didn't like her at all until I told her judge judy reminds me of HER!!). All someone has to do is actually watch the show and you will usually wind up rooting for judge judy instead of riveling her. (and the show has always stated at the end credits that judgements are paid from a fund).

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
Sorry, but I absolutely disagree! While these tirades are for entertainment purposes, they are often definitely not justified. Apparently, some people enjoy seeing others bullied. I even suspect that alledgedly most of these tirades are according to a script, prepared in advance, somewhat based on information about the case and the outcome has been predetermined weeks before filming.

Submitted by Daria (not verified) on
Simple: Choose a different venue. They can choose all different small claims court rooms, to have their issues dealt with - for example, with Judge Millian at The People's Court. They chose Judy - and whoever doesn't know who she is, obviously wouln't choose her. These "tirades" are most definately appropriate, and always justified. She's been on the bench since the 70s knows the law. And just because there is a minority of "non"-believers of her work - does not mean she needs to tone it down. This show is not prepared in advance, as the minority always seem to think so. Judy, and another 10 million, think and know otherwise.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
lol you dont root for the judge, youre getting played by reality TV hard.

Submitted by Anonymous (not verified) on
I am wondering if the write of this article has ever watched the show. 3/4 of the people on there don't seem to be poor and certainly don't seem to be mentally ill. She calls it the way she sees it, like most people do. It's not her fault people like her and want her show on TV. I personally never miss it!

Submitted by Leslie (not verified) on
I have Faithfully watched Judge Judy since day 1..I Love her..I tape the show if I'm going to be out. When someone has a good thing going..The media will Always try to tear them down. Her ratings tell the story..She Rules! I enjoy the show & will watch her until the last show airs. Critics..Go after someone else..There are Plenty losers on the air. Please attack the Kardashian's..They are a waste of air time. Judge Judy is the most Entertaining person on TV today!!

Submitted by Mama of Dogs (not verified) on
I find nothing wrong with what Judge Judy says to defendants and plaintiffs in her courtroom. It might be harsh but if you watch the show regularly you find that some people are obviously not listening to her and seem completely oblivious to what is going on around them. I understand that sometimes professionalism is called for in a courtroom. I also know that I would never be able to handle some of the people she had on her show. They do seem ignorant, ill-mannered, and yes plain stupid. Of course I already knew that the show paid for any judgements made. That is how it is on all courtroom shows. I think she should keep up the good work

Submitted by Dave Masko on
Yes, I've watched Judge Judy since she started this TV show. I also viewed the recent CBS Sunday Morning program that featured an interview with her. The point is she's so unkind. Kindness for such a judge would reflect well on her, and point to her character. In turn, it's TV and media critics and not I who think Judge Judy is over the top and even out of control. -- DMasko

Submitted by Daria (not verified) on
Regardless of their behavior, that is totally disrespectful, what you are saying about a judge. Even if she's a tv judge. The comments, that you have said in this article, are simply just as, or even more, malicious than you portray the judge to be. The "it's TV and media critics and not I" excuse, ain't what it worth. Clearly, you are a critic, of a well-respected, well-established judge. $45mil pay, 10mil viewers per show, are something you must obviously not be getting.

Submitted by Frank (not verified) on
Daria, please learn how to properly use commas in sentences; that might make your blind pledge of devotion to a television "judge" based solely on salary and ratings somewhat less annoying. As sheer, dumb entertainment Judge Judy is great, no doubt about that as 10 million people (myself included) can attest. As an example of how an actual judge SHOULD conduct herself in a court of law, the show is horrendously misleading. She has blatant preconceived notions of who is right and wrong in many cases, often asks personal questions irrelevant to the case that are obviously intended to embarrass the litigants, interjects her opinions and reconstructs events to suit what is convenient for her rulings, and is generally abrasive and insulting. Sure there are some simple open and shut cases where anyone with half a brain would agree with her rulings, but for the more complex cases she reverts to the tactics just described. I saw a case where she asked a single mom how much she had saved for her children's education funds and when she answered $25,000 for each child, JJ scoffed and said that that wouldn't even cover a semester! Even so, $50,000 is much more than most parents have saved for their kids, and that really tells you how in touch JJ is with the average person with less than a seven-figure annual salary. Bottom line is, it's good television but you're deluded if you think JJ is a shining example of judicial fitness.


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