Judge Judy Negotiates Like a Boss, Of Course

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Judge Judy doesn’t take shit—not from the people she gets paid
almost $50 million a year to scream at in her TV courtroom, nor
from the people who actually pony up said salary. According to
a deposition obtained by
The Hollywood Reporter, here’s what happens when it’s
time for Judy to re-negotiate her deal with CBS:

Sheindlin says that every three years, she sits down for a
renegotiation with CBS and brings along a card with her
demands. Sometimes, she wants a bump for the crew who work on
Judge Judy. Sometimes, it’s something different. But
there’s always the salary.

“And we go to the Grill on the Alley with the president of
the company,” says the tough-minded judge about CBS. “We sit
across the table, and I hand him the envelope and I say,
‘Don’t read it now, let’s have a nice dinner. Call me
tomorrow. You want it, fine. Otherwise, I’ll produce it
myself.’ That’s the negotiation.”

Guess what happened the one time CBS did not immediately
acquiesce to Judy’s demands? (Spoiler alert: It didn’t go well
for them!)

“John Nogawski [former president of CBS TV Distribution] came
to the meeting at the Grill on the Alley, and I handed him my
envelope, and he said, ‘Judy, I have my own envelope.’ And I
said, ‘I don’t want to look at it.’ He said, ‘Why not? Maybe
it’s more than what’s in your envelope.’ And I said, ‘Well,
John, if I look at your envelope, it’s a negotiation. This
isn’t a negotiation.’ And he put his envelope away and they
gave me what I wanted; not a whole thing, not 30 pages, three
things, whatever it was, done. So to suggest that the largest
profit participant, which is CBS, would pay me willingly more
money is so ludicrous. Their back’s to the wall.”

The testimony, by the way, comes from a lawsuit filed against CBS by
Rebel Entertainment Partners that claims Judy’s enormous salary
is blocking its profits from the show. Rebel is
successor-in-interest to a talent agency that supposedly helped
launch Judge Judy by representing two of its producers
who were subsequently ousted (Sandi Spreckman and Kaye
Switzer), though Judy calls bullshit on that, too, in her
deposition:

“I haven’t seen [Rebel boss Richard Lawrence] or heard from
him in over 21 years. I think I said something like for him
to complain about my salary when he’s made … 17 million
dollars … for what was perhaps two, three hours’ worth of
business, that, to me, is obscene. Especially since it has
always been my view that Mr. Lawrence and Mr. Lyttle were in
collusion right from the beginning, just as Mr. Lyttle was
with Fred Fenster to screw the girls. … I don’t think he
can ever suggest that he represented me, and if he did
represent these two women, he did such an atrocious job as an
agent in representing them, because while he made tens of
millions of dollars, I had to give Kaye Switzer money several
years ago because she couldn’t pay her rent.”

THR reports that Rebel is “entitled to a 5 percent
share of net profits.” An earlier report states: “From
1996-2007, Rebel received about $6.4 million from its share of
the show, but has not received a dime in backend compensation
since February 2010.” Good luck wrestling that money away from
Judge Judy, everyone! She’s a pitbull (who, if you watch her
show you know, absolutely despises the practice of keeping
pitbulls as pets).

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