Judge Judy is entitled to her salary, a court has ruled.
On Friday, a California appeals court affirmed that Judy Sheindlin’s $47 million yearly salary for her television show is not excessive, as claimed by the agency Rebel Entertainment Partners, according to The Hollywood Reporter.
The ruling came amid a lawsuit by Rebel, which originally packaged “Judge Judy” for sale, which claims that Sheindlin’s has avoided the terms of their original deal entitling owner Richard Lawrence to five per cent of the show’s net profits in perpetuity.
According to the filing, Rebel alleged that Sheindlin had taken the massive salary in lieu of profit participation on the backend in order to deny profits to Lawrence.
The agency argued that a decade ago, at the height of their popularity, top TV stars like David Letterman and Jay Leno were earning salaries of no more than $28 million, and that anything above this amount for Sheindlin was meant to disguise profits through accounting.
A trial judge had previously ruled against the agency, in favour of the TV host and CBS, and on Friday the appeals court ruling affirmed the previous finding.
“Any apportionment of Sheindlin’s salary to some form of profit participation would, by definition, introduce risk that Sheindlin was unwilling to accept,” the court’s opinion read. “In any event, we have discovered no authority, and Rebel offers none, obligating an entity to reclassify a performer’s salary as something other than salary for accounting purposes.”