Judge Judy Sheindlin says she’ll eat a contract on national TV if it’s determined a new lawsuit against her and ViacomCBS holds any legal water.
The 77-year-old TV personality is the subject of another lawsuit by Rebel Entertainment Partners to the tune of roughly $5 million over claims that disgraced former CBS boss, Les Moonves, did some corporate sleight-of-hand to avoid answering to the network’s Board of Directors that resulted in it not getting the money it believes it's owed. The lawsuit was brought by talent agent Richard Lawrence and his Abrams, Rubaloff & Lawrence firm, which is working with Rebel.
In a statement provided to Fox Business, Sheindlin explained that she is beyond confident that the contract in question doesn’t exist.
"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,’” Sheindlin told Fox Business in a statement. “If that is the basis of Mr. Lawrence’s lawsuit, here is my challenge: 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."
According to Deadline, the new lawsuit stems from an allegedly mismanaged deal cut by Moonves and CBS programming chief Armando Nunez to sell the library of past “Judge Judy” episodes to Sheindlin for way less than they were worth in an effort to avoid disgrace at the hands of CBS higher-ups.
“Disgraced media mogul Les Moonves may have been shown the door at CBS in 2018, but not before he conspired with other CBS executives, including former CBS programming chief Armando Nuñez, to avoid embarrassment over his colossal mismanagement of the sale and repurchase of the back-episode catalog for the Judge Judy television program,” the outlet reports, citing the breach of contract complaint filed Tuesday.
“In 2015, Moonves and his loyal lieutenant Nuñez seriously underestimated the value of the episode library and sold the rights to these episodes to series star Judith Sheindlin for a song,” the filing adds.
The complaint alleges that Moonves tried to “pull a fast one” on the CBS Board by requiring Board approval for any purchase of $100 million or more. They then paid Sheindlin an estimated $95 million in an alleged effort to avoid answering for the initial flub. Rebel Entertainment Partners stands to make 5% of any profits made from “Judge Judy” and therefore feels entitled to roughly $5 million from that deal.
“But through all of this industry intrigue and deception, both CBS and Sheindlin lost sight of one important group of people: the Judge Judy profit participants,” the suit adds.
The lawsuit comes months after Sheindlin announced that she’s ending the show after 25 years when her contract runs out in 2021.