Consider this your regular reminder that, no matter how abrasive, tough, and no-nonsense she might seem on her ludicrously successful daytime court show, Judy “Judge Judy” Sheindlin is all that and moreso in her personal and business life. THR reported this week on a recent legal case involving the Judge Judy show, in which Sheindlin was asked to give some video-taped testimony, and her response was blunt, bordering on the kind of braggy that comes from knowing exactly how much power you have in a given situation.
The case involves a talent agency involved with the show, which claims that CBS has failed to pay it adequately, at least in part because the company’s owed 5 percent of net profits is being calculated after Sheindlin’s $40 million annual paycheck has been deducted from the show’s income. Sheindlin’s response, though, was basically, “You’re lucky you’re getting that much,” noting that, “CBS had no choice but to pay me what I wanted, because otherwise I could take it wherever I wanted to take it, or do it myself .”
Sheindlin also laid out the ice-cold power play by which she presents her various demands to the network, describing a regular steakhouse dinner with network president Les Moonves, in which she casually hands him an envelope containing the number that will be her new salary, and other requests. “I hand him the envelope and I say, ‘Don’t read it now, let’s have a nice dinner,” Sheindlin said, in cadences we can only assume were vaguely Fat Tony-esque. “Call me tomorrow. You want it, fine. Otherwise, I’ll produce it myself.’ That’s the negotiation.”