When Judge Judy Sheindlin sold her show’s library rights to CBS for $95,000,000, a talent agency wasted no time in suing her for their perceived five percent portion of the sale. Judge Judy, who is famous for being straight with the litigators who appear on her show, has said that if the talent agency can produce a contract showing how she owes them the money, she will admit defeat and “eat it on national television” – otherwise, they can buck off.
Talent agency Rebel Entertainment Partners has launched a lawsuit against Judge Judy and CBS over the judge’s profits. The talent agency claims that they deserve five percent of the profits from the sale of the show’s library rights after Sheindlin bought and then turned around to sell her show’s rights back to CBS for about $95 million. The agency claims that they were cheated out of cash because of a bizarre trick Judge Judy performed to squeeze them out of the deal by buying the rights from CBS and then selling them back to the broadcast company.
Rebel claims in the lawsuit that it is a profit participant and should earn their fair share of the money from the sale of the show’s library rights. This lawsuit comes months after Rebel settled another lawsuit with CBS over Sheindlin’s $47 million annual salary.
The new lawsuit targets the library rights of the courtroom show. Judge Judy bought the rights from CBS in 2015 just to turnaround and sold them back to CBS for a huge profit two years later in 2017.
Sheindlin said of Rebel president Richard Lawrence: “I have not seen the complaint and can therefore only comment on what I have read, which suggests that I am being sued for ‘breach of contract.’ If that is the basis of Mr. Lawrence’s lawsuit, here is my challenge: If Mr. Lawrence can produce a contract, signed by Mr. Lawrence and me 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.”
Rebel argues that CBS, under the leadership of its now-disgraced former boss, Les Moonves, “seriously underestimated” how much Judge Judy the show was worth when they sold the rights of it to Sheindlin in 2015.
Because she “understood she was now sitting on a gold mine,” Sheindlin hired Barron International Group to help her market the library to potential buyers for a price of about $200 million, which made CBS interested once again.
According to the lawsuit, Moonves had “blundered” and tried to buy back the Judge Judy library to “avoid embarrassment over his colossal mismanagement.
“Moonves knew that he would look like an incompetent buffoon if he had to explain to the CBS Board of Directors that he had essentially sold the Judge Judy catalog for a pittance less than two years prior, but was now proposing to buy it back for tens of millions of dollars,” the lawsuit claimed.
Do you think Rebel has the contract that will defeat Judge Judy at her own game?