Judge Judy gets paid way too much, new lawsuit claims

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Annual Salary Of $47 Million For Judge Judy Revealed In Lawsuit

Judge Judy will probably have to recuse herself from this case.

A new lawsuit claims that popular TV judge Judy Sheindlin's paycheck is cutting into the profits owed to a company associated with the series.

In the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles Superior Court on Monday, Rebel Entertainment Partners — described as "the successor-in-interest to the talent agency that packaged the Show" — claims that the company's principle, Richard Lawrence, met Sheindlin more than two decades ago, "recognized Sheindlin's star potential and successfully pitched" the court show "Judge Judy."

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Judge Judy gets paid way too much, new lawsuit claims
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 14: Judge Judy Gallery for the CBS special. Judge Judy Sheindlin stars in a one-hour primetime special that will include new cases and takes a look at how the Judge transitioned from New York Family Court Judge to 'Judge Judy,' on JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00 PM-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin and her husband attend the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 14: Judge Judy Gallery for the CBS special. Court will be in session when Judge Judy Sheindlin appears in a one-hour special that will showcase her unique ability to act as a true moral compass and her uncanny ability to ferret out the truth, on JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00 PM-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - NOVEMBER 13: Judge Judy Sheindlin (R) and her husband Jerry Sheindlin arrive at the 55th Annual Women's Guild Cedars-Sinai Anniversary Gala at the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 13, 2012 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by Amanda Edwards/WireImage)
Judge Judy Sheindlin (right) and husband during Judge Judy Sheindlin Sighting in New York City - June 9, 2007 in New York City, New York, United States. (Photo by Marcel Thomas/FilmMagic)
Judge Judy Sheindlin and husband Judge Jerry Sheindlin (Photo by Robin Platzer/FilmMagic)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin attends the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
(AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND OUT)  John Shakespeare cartoon/ illo/ illustration/ toon/ artwork jeff kennet as judge judy, brought to you by coles   cbd thurs Jeff Kennett .jpg (Photo by Fairfax Media via Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin attends the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin attends the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 14: Judge Judy Gallery for the CBS special. Look for classic Judyisms as Judge Judy Sheindlin brings her wit and no-nonsense style of justice in a one-hour primetime special, on JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00 PM-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
LOS ANGELES - APRIL 14: Judge Judy Gallery for the CBS special. Court will be in session when Judge Judy Sheindlin appears in a one-hour special that will showcase her unique ability to act as a true moral compass and her uncanny ability to ferret out the truth, on JUDGE JUDY PRIMETIME, Tuesday, May 20 (8:00 PM-9:00 PM, ET/PT) on the CBS Television Network. (Photo by Sonja Flemming/CBS via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 18: Judge Judy is seen outside 'The Today Show'on September 18, 2013 in New York City. (Photo by Raymond Hall/FilmMagic)
Los Angeles, UNITED STATES: Judge Judy Sheindlin (R), star of the US television court reality show 'Judge Judy' arrives with an unidentified guest for at the world premier of 'The Prestige,' at El Capitan Theater in the Hollywood section of Los Angeles, California, 17 October 2006. AFP PHOTO / Robyn BECK (Photo credit should read ROBYN BECK/AFP/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - JANUARY 23: Judge Judy Sheindlin gives kiss of approval to son Adam Levy, 38, after the republican tossed his hat into the Putnam County race for district attorney. Levy's equally proud stepdad, ex-Bronx State Supreme Court Justice Gerald Sheindlin, looks on. (Photo by Howard Earl Simmons/NY Daily News Archive via Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 07: Judge Judy attends the Joan Rivers memorial service at Temple Emanu-El on September 7, 2014 in New York City. (Photo by Kris Connor/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 05: Judge Judy Sheindlin attends the 2014 Heroes Of Hollywood Luncheon at Taglyan Cultural Complex on June 5, 2014 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Valerie Macon/Getty Images)
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The lawsuit names Big Ticket Television, CBS Studios and CBS Corporation as defendants.

An agreement was struck in which Rebel's predecessor-in-interest would receive 5 percent of the show's net profits, the lawsuit claims. However, according to the suit, CBS and Big Ticket "have acted in blatant disregard of these contractual obligations to Rebel."

The suit claims that, despite "Judge Judy" having generated more than $1.7 billion over 19 seasons, the defendants found ways to make it appear that the show is in the red. Among the ways that CBS and Big Ticket have allegedly bilked Rebel out of profits, according to the lawsuit: By more than doubling Sheindlin's compensation to $45 million in 2009, "thereby wiping out Rebel's net profits."

The lawsuit also contends that the show has been licensed to CBS-owned stations for below-market fees, and that Rebel has been denied profits from the "Judge Judy" offshoot "Hot Bench."

Sheindlin blasted the lawsuit in a statement provided to TheWrap.

"The fact that Richard Lawrence is complaining about my salary is actually hilarious. I met Mr. Lawrence for two 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," Sheindlin said. "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! 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."

Alleging breach of contract and breach of implied covenant of good faith and fair dealing, the suit seeks unspecified damages.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.

Read original story Judge Judy Gets Paid Way Too Much, New Lawsuit Claims At TheWrap

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