Less than a month after “Judge Judy” Sheindlin was sued by a talent agency, which alleges she cheated the firm out of profits when she bought and sold the show’s library rights in a deal with CBS, the former television judge filed her own court papers against the company Wednesday.
The still unofficial Los Angeles Superior Court suit names as defendants Rebel Entertainment Partners and talent agent Richard Lawrence, who is alleged in the court papers as being “unethical,” “self-dealing” and someone who, along with his company, has made more than $22 million while “effectively stealing” from profit participants such as Sheindlin.
The 77-year-old plaintiff plans to donate any proceeds she may obtain from her suit — she’s seeking millions of dollars in damages — to the charity Stand Up to Cancer, according to her court papers.
The suit against Sheindlin, CBS and its Big Ticket Entertainment division was filed Aug. 4, also in Los Angeles Superior Court. Rebel alleges it is owed money from the sale of the show’s library.
“Despite the fact that CBS Studios, Big Ticket and Sheindlin agree that Sheindlin … sold the library to CBS Studios in 2017, to date defendants have refused to compensate Rebel for its portion of the proceeds from the sale,” according to the Rebel Entertainment suit.
Sheindlin was working as a family law judge in New York City before her television show. In June 1995, Lawrence met with her in New York and believed she had the wit, charisma and star power to carry her own courtroom television series, according to the Rebel Entertainment suit, which notes that pioneering courtroom show “The People’s Court” had gone off the air in 1993.
Sheindlin counters in her court papers that Lawrence “sold out his clients in order to gain a lucrative advantage for himself. The objective facts are that Lawrence did not represent the talent on the one-star program that is `Judge Judy’; the only people he did represent were two non-writing producers fired during the first season.”