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Judge Judy Threatens to Make the Tabloids Pay

judge judy
Judy Sheindlin’s complaint alleges that it took her a lifetime to build up a reputation as a no-nonsense judge of people and facts, but in “one fell swoop,” that reputation has taken a “body blow, … diminishing her to rube, a fool—or worse.” Photo: Courtesy of Everett Collection
Eriq Gardner
May 13, 2024

In April, In Touch Weekly published a truly bizarre article headlined “Inside Judge Judy’s Quest to Save the Menendez Brothers Nearly 35 Years After Their Parents’ Murder.” According to the piece, television host Judy Sheindlin, better known as Judge Judy, apparently had serious doubts about the 1996 retrial of Erik and Lyle Menendez—the brothers who infamously murdered their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion and are currently serving life without parole—going so far as to label the case “rigged.” The article further suggested that Sheindlin had urged the defense team to demand the recusal of Los Angeles County Superior Court Judge Stanley Weisberg. Alas, none of this was true.

The In Touch reporter apparently confused Judge Judy, whose reality TV courtroom series ran for 25 seasons, with an alternate juror on the trial named “Judi,” who was interviewed in a Menendez documentary. Sheindlin promptly demanded a retraction and gave an interview indicating that she was disturbed enough by the mix-up to pursue legal action. As it turns out, she was not bluffing.