Judith Sheindlin, better known as the star of Judge Judy, is the highest-paid television personality in the country. Now entering its 21st season, Judge Judy is still the top-rated syndicated daytime talk shows.
The “Court Show Queen” really was a judge, working as a family judge until 1996. In the early 1990s, her book Don’t Pee on My Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining and media profiles garnered her attention and eventually a TV show. Judge Judy debuted in fall 1996 and has been on air ever since.
Here’s a look at Judge Judy’s wealth and how she spends it.
1. Sheindlin Has an Estimated Net Worth of $290 Million
The 73-year-old Sheindlin, who now lives in Naples, Florida, has an estimated net worth of $290 million in 2016, Forbes estimates. That’s up from the magazine’s 2015 estimate of $250 million.
Variety reports that Sheindlin now earns $47 million per season of Judge Judy from CBS Television Studios, which distributes the show.
Petri Hawkins-Byrd, Sheindlin’s bailiff, also takes home a good salary, earning $1 million a year.
“When we started, all I really knew was that there was something about [Sheindlin’s] authenticity on camera that made her incredibly compelling,” producer Larry Lyttle told Variety. “We knew we had something early on, but we never thought it would be the franchise it has become. Her household ratings are still greater than many primetime series. Her value is indisputable.”
2. Sheindlin Has an $8.6 Million Home in Florida & a $13.2 Million Home in Connecticut
With this kind of income, Sheindlin and her husband, judge Jerry Sheindlin, can afford multiple houses. In 2007, they bought a $13.2 million mansion in Greenwhich, Connecticut, which covers 12,000 square feet and has nine bedrooms. They also spent $10.7 million on a condo in Beverly Hills, California.
In 2015, Variety reported that they listed their 8,5000-square-foot Naples, Florida home for $11 million. A few weeks before, they spent $8.6 million on a mansion built in the early 1990s. The home includes six bedrooms, nine bathrooms and two half-bathrooms.
The Naples Daily News reported that the home they bought in November 2015 is just down the road from the home they listed for $11 million.
3. She Once Owned a Yacht Called ‘Triumphant Lady’ That Was Listed for $6.9 Million
As Vanity Fair pointed out in 2014, Amy Poehler wrote in her author bio for Yes Please that, “She hopes this book will get her invited onto her hero Judge Judy’s yacht, Triumphant Lady.”
Scheindlin did once own a yacht called Triumphant Lady, which is 152-feet long and has five cabins. However, it was listed on Camper And Nicholsons, with an asking price of $6.9 million. In 2009, the yacht underwent a $12 million refit.
You can book the yacht at Yacht Charter Fleet for up to 10 guests. “Triumphant Lady’s impressive leisure and entertainment facilities make her the ideal charter yacht for socializing and entertaining with family and friends,” the listing reads.
4. Sheindlin Has Written 7 Books & Launched an Advice Site Called ‘What Would Judy Do?’
Sheindlin has written seven books, beginning with 1996’s Don’t Pee on my Leg and Tell Me It’s Raining, the book that helped get her a series.
Her other books include Beauty Fades, Dumb is Forever (1999); Keep It Simple, Stupid: You’re Smarter Than You Look (2000); Win or Lose by How You Choose (2000); You’re Smarter Than You Look: Uncomplicating Relationships (2001); and What Would Judy Say? A Grown-Up Guide to Living Together With Benefits (2013); and What Would Judy Say: Be The Hero of Your Own Story (2014).
The What Would Judy Say books inspired her website, WhatWouldJusdySay.com. She’s even trademarked the phrase.
In addition to these projects, Sheindlin and CBS are developing a scripted drama series inspired by her career called Her Honor.
5. Sheinldin Supports the Her Honor Mentoring Program for Young Girls, Founded by Her Daughter Nicole
Sheindlin funds the Her Honor Mentoring Program for Young Girls. The program was founded by Nicole Sheinndlin, Scheindlin’s daughter, in 2006. She is a partner at the law firm Metzner & Sheindlin. In June, Sheindlin herself attended a graduation ceremony for the mentoring graduates.
In 2014, Sheindlin filed her first ever lawsuit, against Connecticut personal injury attorney John Haymond. She said he was using images from Judge Judy in his commercials without her permission. TMZ reported that the lawsuit ended with a settlement, with Haymond agreeing to make a donation to the Her Honor Mentoring Program.