Judge Judy (or Judith, if you’re being fancy or are, in fact, the announcer guy from her show) Sheindlin has been a mainstay of daytime television for the best part of 30 years. Dispensing justice and razor-sharp quips, while ably supported by her BFF and long-time bailiff, Byrd, the original head lady in charge shows no signs of slowing down even as she approaches her 80th birthday.
Judge Judy has made her a multi-millionaire too, but anybody who watches the show knows Sheindlin’s considerable fortune isn’t just being enjoyed by her and husband, and fellow judge, Jerry. They’ve got a whole gaggle of children (and grandchildren) to contend with too, many of whom are disparagingly referenced on the show thanks to the mischief they got into during their teenage years.
Judge Judy chose children over her career
Sadly, Judge Judy is set to end after 25 seasons with Sheindlin reportedly working on a new project. It’s impossible to imagine the New York Law School alum, who’s been in the business for decades, having presided over family court prior to landing her all-conquering show, doing anything else. And yet, back in the day, Sheindlin was ready to give it all up for family.
While married to first husband Ronald Levy, she felt pressured to settle down rather than follow her career aspirations, admitting in an interview with Fox’s OBJECTified, “It was time for me to get married. All my friends were getting married.” Sheindlin had her two sons, Jamie and Adam, while staying at home and playing the traditional housewife role.
“I was never one of those women who said, ‘I want to have a career, and I’m really not into having babies,'” she said of her decision. However, soon enough, Sheindlin got bored and returned to get her Master’s in Family Law at NYU.
Spoiling her grandkids comes naturally to Judge Judy
As her career as a family prosecutor found continued success, Sheindlin’s marriage to Levy struggled, and the two got divorced in 1976. Three months later, she met Jerry, who recalled in an interview with the Los Angeles Times that his future wife came right up to him, stuck a finger in his face, and demanded to know who he was. They married soon after, and, although they too got divorced, the couple subsequently remarried and have been together ever since.
Aside from Jamie and Adam, Sheindlin has three stepchildren from her second marriage: Nicole, Jonathan, and Gregory. In 2006, Sheindlin and Nicole joined forces to create the mentoring program Her Honor Mentoring. As for her 13 grandchildren, Sheindlin told Entertainment Tonight she spoils them rotten.
However, the icon of daytime television might be making up for perceived past errors with her own kids, as she shared, “Working parents bring a certain amount of guilt to their relationship with their children.”
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