TV’s Judge Judy has found herself in the middle of a personal legal battle.
On Monday, talent agency Rebel Entertainment Partners filed a suit claiming they have not received contractually obligated payments for “Judge Judy” since 2010 because the show is instead losing money to Judy Sheindlin’s $47 million salary.
Sheindlin issued a statement to FOX411 slamming the claims and the agent behind the suit.
In her true signature style, the daytime TV star didn’t mince her words.
“The fact that Richard Lawrence is complaining about my salary is actually hilarious,” she said. “I met Mr. Lawrence for 2 hours some 21 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!”
Lawyers at Rebel Entertainment have not returned FOX411’s request for comment.
In 2013, Sheindlin’s contract with CBS was renewed and then extended in 2015. Rebel has made claims that her show has grossed $1.7 billion since the 1996 premiere and they have received regular payments until 2010.
The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court, also notes that CBS was required to discuss with Rebel any “Judge Judy” spinoffs, but did not do so before the launch of her other syndicated show “Hot Bench.”
Sheindlin continued to defend herself, “Since I have not spoken with Mr. Lawrence in over 20 years to suggest that he had any involvement in my creating ‘Hot Bench’ is equally laughable.”
In the suit, Rebel also claims Sheindlin’s salary is “grossly inconsistent with customary practice in the television industry.”
CBS Studios, CBS Corp., and Big Ticket Entertainment are alleged to have cut Rebel out of the potential 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.”
You can follow Blanche Johnson on Twitter @blancheFOXLA.