Judith Sheindlin has decided not to move ahead with her $22 million countersuit in her long-running profits battle.
The 78-year-old also known as Judge Judy told Deadline that she made her decision because her own network would have to be a defendant.
‘I have been in business with CBS for 20 years,’ said the Brooklyn native. ‘I’m not suing them when they are not the wrongdoer.’
Dropped: Judith Sheindlin has decided not to move ahead with her $22 million countersuit in her long-running profits battle
Judy has been locked in a legal battle with Rebel Entertainment Partners and Richard Lawrence, the talent agent who negotiated her show’s original packaging deal.
‘Mr. Lawrence is the culprit in this fiasco of a packaging deal which has netted him $22,000000. CBS inherited this deal,’ she told Deadline this week.
‘Sometimes justice gets lost in the weeds of legalese gobbledygook. This is one of those times. Sad,’ she added while explaining why she dropped the countersuit.
Rebel are Richard’s successor in interest and say they are entitled to 5% of the profits from the $95 million sale of the Judge Judy catalog to CBS in 2017.
‘CBS inherited this deal’: The 78-year-old also known as Judge Judy told Deadline that she made her decision because her own network would have to be a defendant
In early August of last year they filed a $5 million breach of contract complaint over that sale, which took place while disgraced mogul Les Moonves was head of CBS.
Judy bought the catalog from CBS in 2015 – and in their complaint last August her opponents said Les ‘seriously underestimated’ what the show was worth.
They alleged that Les found out Judy was trying to make a profit reselling the catalog and so he bought it back in 2017 so as not to be humiliated by his mistake.
When she discovered she was being sued for breach of contract last August, Judy told Deadline: ‘If Mr. Lawrence can produce a contract, signed by me and Mr. Lawrence on the same page, at any time in history from the beginning of time, I will toast that contract, smear it with cream cheese and eat it on national television.’
‘I have been in business with CBS for 20 years’: The Brooklyn native stated: ‘I’m not suing them when they are not the wrongdoer’
She proceeded to countersue for $22 million, accusing her opponents of unjust enrichment as well as unlawful and unfair business practices.
However last month she was dealt a major blow when a judge threw out her counterclaims and gave her ’30 days leave to amend.’
This Friday she told Deadline: ‘We decline to file an amended complaint as Mr. Lawrence has insisted that I join Big Ticket (CBS) as a defendant.’
Judy, who has been starring on her syndicated show since 1996, added: ‘The court has declined to rule that CBS is not a necessary party.’
Fierce: Her opponents in the legal battle they are entitled to 5% of the profits from the $95 million sale of the Judge Judy catalog to CBS in 2017
Meanwhile lawyer Bryan Freedman, who is working for Richard and Rebel, claimed Friday: ‘Judy maliciously prosecuted this case. She knew all too well that her claims were unsupportable even prior to the court ruling against her.’
He argued: ‘It’s about time she ran away from her misguided, implausible, unconscionable, specious and unwarranted lawsuit against Richard Lawrence.’
The legal battle has been going on since 2016 and at one point an issue was made of Judy’s $47 million salary which her opponents argued was so ‘exorbitant’ it was causing the show to lose money.
Throwback: Last August they filed a $5 million breach of contract complaint over that sale, which took place while disgraced mogul Les Moonves (pictured) was head of CBS
Judy told ABC News: ‘The fact that Richard Lawrence is complaining about my salary is actually hilarious’ and scoffed that his gripe showed ‘real chutzpah.’
She asserted: ‘I met Mr. Lawrence for two 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.’
Judge Judy is wrapping up when her ViacomCBS contract expires this year and she will then start a show called Judy Justice for Amazon’s IMDb TV.
End of the road: Judge Judy is wrapping up when her ViacomCBS contract expires this year and she will then start a show called Judy Justice for Amazon’s IMDb TV