Judge Judy on her $47 million salary win in real-life court: ‘We never question what guys earn’
Judge Judy Sheindlin experienced a win for herself and all other working women earlier this month, when another judge declared her $47 million salary to be legitimate. After Rebel Entertainment filed a complaint against the daytime television star back in 2016, an L.A. County Superior Court judge recently made the decision that what CBS is paying Sheindlin, 75, is in fact reasonable. And with Equal Pay Day — April 19 — coming up, Sheindlin has insinuated that it wouldn’t have been questioned in the first place if she were a man.
Days after the court decision by Judge Joanne O’Donnell, the television star responded to questions from TMZ about the ongoing issue of gender pay gaps.
“Well, I’m happy that the judge said that not only can women never make too much money,” Sheindlin told TMZ (video above), “but since we never question what guys earn, why would anybody question what I earn?”
In the case of one of the most highly paid television stars ever, it was actually talent agent Richard Lawrence who had brought the claim upon CBS and Big Ticket Television. Since representing two producers who helped package the show back in the 1990s, Lawrence has received a portion of Judge Judy profits. He told the court that in 2010, the checks stopped coming in, although, according to the New York Post, the defendants say that Rebel Entertainment was paid $17 million for “doing nothing.” Still, it’s the woman responsible for the show’s resounding success who, the agency claims, is the one being overpaid. And that’s where Judge Joanne O’Donnell disagreed.
“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,” O’Donnell wrote in the ruling, obtained by the Hollywood Reporter. “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.”
Recent controversy surrounding gender pay gaps has revealed that the phenomenon is still very much real. In Hollywood alone, women news anchors and some of the industry’s most prominent actresses have been paid millions of dollars less than their male counterparts. According to data from the Economic Policy Institute, women still make, on average, 22 percent less per hour than men — a statistic that Judge Judy seems to have had in mind when speaking with TMZ.