Judith Susan Sheindlin, more famously known to the TV world as “Judge Judy,” is an American prosecutor, family court judge, and media personality. She was born on October 21, 1942, in Brooklyn to Ethel and Murray Blum. Judge Judy attended American University in Washington D.C. earning a Bachelor of Arts degree in government. She earned her Juris Doctor degree in 1965 after attending New York Law School.
Judge Judy passed the bar in 1965 and immediately began working in a cosmetics firm. She became a prosecutor for the New York family court system in 1972. In 1982, New York Mayor Ed Koch appointed her as a criminal court judge after hearing about her reputation. She eventually became a supervising judge in the Manhattan division where she was described as “tough” and “harsh.”
In a February 1993 issue of the Los Angeles Times, she was described as a judge determined to make the court system work for the common good. She was featured on 60 Minutes which brought her national recognition. Judy retired in 1996 as a family court judge after presiding over 20,000 cases. In the same year, she accepted an offer to preside in a reality courtroom series featuring real cases, and the show Judge Judy was born. The show ran for 25 seasons and became beloved by millions.
She currently hosts “Judy Justice,” a continuation and spin-off of the original show. Judge Judy is known for being extremely harsh, blunt, and intelligent. Judy inspired lots of people to gain interest in the judicial system. Her fame also inspired curiosity in her personal life. Who is Judge Judy behind the bench? Is she married? Is Judge Judy gay? Just like Judge Judy, we’ll examine the facts and produce a verdict which answers these questions.
VOTE: What is Judge Judy’s Sexuality?
Judge Judy’s Dating History
Judge Judy’s private life is mostly kept under wraps. In her more than 20 years of television, there’s very little known about past relationships from her youth. She’s known for being one of the longest and hardest-working hosts in reality courtroom television. Her image as a tough judge made a lot of people curious about her relationships. Would it surprise you to know that she’s been happily married for over 40 years?
Judge Judy and Ronald Levy (1964-1976)
Judge Judy married her first husband, Ronald Levy, in 1964. Ronald is a prosecutor and was married to Judy for 12 years. They moved to New York and had two children: Jamie in 1966, and Adam in 1968. Judy and Ronald married young, and Judy quickly became a mom. In an interview with Fox News in 2017, Judy spoke about her first marriage.
Sadly, the couple divorced in 1976.
Judge Judy and Jerry Sheindlin (1978-Present)
Judy then married Jerry Sheindlin soon after her divorce. She became a stepmother to Jerry’s three children: Nicole, Gregory, and Jonathan. Two of whom are also practicing law. Though the couple is still married today, it wasn’t always smooth sailing for the two. Judy’s father died in 1990, and she wasn’t satisfied with how Jerry handled her emotions. Jerry explained what occurred to them it quits in the 2020 book, “What Makes a Marriage Last”:
“She said to me, ‘If you can’t maneuver this, I’m going to divorce you,’” he told authors Marlo Thomas and Phil Donahue at the time.
“And I said, ‘Oh, yeah? I dare you.’ And the next day I got divorce papers. The next day. So, that was the end of that.”
A year after the divorce, the couple realized they were made for one another and decided to remarry in 1991. In an appearance on The Ellen Show, Judge Judy proudly announced her gift for Jerry’s 85th birthday — a $40,000 Harley Davidson motorcycle.
Acclaim For The Judge Judy Show
Judge Judy had a significant impact on courtroom programming, reviving the program as a whole. The show was the highest-rated court show for its 25-year run. The program won three Emmy Awards and earned Judy a Guinness World of Records award for longest-serving TV arbitrator. The show also influenced lots of courtroom programming trends and rebirthed the genre.
Lawsuit Filed Against Judge Judy
The former prosecutor became the subject of a legal dispute when Patrice Jones filed a lawsuit against her over Chrisofle fine china. Jones’s husband, Judge Judy and Judy Justice executive producer, Randy Douthit had sold Judy the fine wares. Jones claimed that she still had ownership and sought $514,421 from Judy. The case was settled out of court when Judy agreed to return the silverware to Douthit.
Judge Judy VS. John Haymond
On March 12, 2014, Judy filed a lawsuit against Connecticut personal injury lawyer John Haymond. In the lawsuit, Judy accused Haymond and his firm of using her television image without consent in ads that suggested she endorsed him and the firm. The lawsuit sought more than $75,000 in damages. Judge Judy stated that any money she’d receive would go straight to Her Honoring Mentoring program, a philanthropic organization and charity. The case was reportedly settled out of court in August 2014 in a resolution which favored Judy. Haymond was said to have donated money to the charity.
Is Judge Judy Gay?
No, Judge Judy is not gay. She’s been married to her current husband for over 40 years and was married to her first husband for 12 years. She’s never made a statement that alluded to her being gay, nor are there any reports or rumors suggesting otherwise. Though she hasn’t commented on her sexuality, she is a vocal supporter of same-sex marriage.