Saturday, March 26, 2016
From Deadline Hollywood:
[A] scathing multimillion-dollar lawsuit filed today against CBS has no-nonsense host Judy Sheindlin, her syndicated series and its spinoff Hot Bench in the legal spotlight. Seeking widespread unspecified damages, plaintiff Rebel Entertainment Partners claims that that it has been denied contractually obligated payments since 2010 from the net profits of the 19-season CBS Television-distributed Judge Judy because it supposedly is “losing money,” while paying Judge Judy herself up to $47 million a year. . . .
“According to Defendants, in the six-month accounting period prior to Scheindlin’s pay raise, the Show reported net profits of $3,572,195, of which 5% ($178,609) was paid to Rebel,” alleges the successor-in-interest to the talent agency that originally packaged the Judy Sheindlin-fronted series. Having received regular payments over the years until 2010, Rebel claims that Judge Judy has grossed over $1.7 billion since it first went on the air in 1996.
“In the six-month accounting period after Scheindlin’s pay raise, however, Defendants reported net profits of negative $3,195,217, of which 5% (negative $159,761) was allocated to Rebel.” The breach of contract complaint filed in L.A. Superior Court on Monday (read it here) also claims more shell-gaming by CBS Studios, CBS Corporation, and producers and CBS TV Studios-owned Big Ticket Entertainment. “Defendants further reduced Rebel’s net profits by licensing the Show to CBS’s corporate affiliates — television stations owned or operated by CBS — for below-market fees in transactions that were not negotiated at arms-length,” they add.
Judge Judy’s response:
“The fact that Richard Lawrence is complaining about my salary is actually hilarious. I met Mr. Lawrence for 2 hours some twenty-one years ago. Neither I nor anyone involved in the day-to-day production of my program has heard from him in 20 years. Not a card, not a gift, not a flower, not a congratulations. Yet he has somehow received over $17,000,000 from my program. My rudimentary math translates that into $8,500,000 an hour for Mr. Lawrence. Not a bad payday. Now complaining about not getting enough money, that’s real chutzpah!
You can read more here.