Judy Sheindlin––the star of television's Judge Judy––is an icon, and we won't hear anything different. (Here's a link to some of the funniest moments on her show, if you don't believe us.)
But are the infamously caustic judge's decisions binding? And how much of what goes on in her courtroom actually scripted for the cameras?
After Redditor harleyheels_x asked the online community, "Anyone who has taken part in Judge Judy, either as a party to a claim or as a part of the audience, what was it like? Any interesting/funny stories about what happens in between the cameras rolling?" those with insider knowledge about her show (or any of the copycat shows out there) weighed in.
Ironically enough both of my sister's were on that show in like 2000 or something. I crap you not, one sued the other over a car and for not paying rent. I'll ask them how it was and I'll get back to you. they were estranged from each other for years after that dude. What really made it worse was that my mom had recently passed away like a year or two before. And instead of them being there for each other they were being stupid because neither wanted to admit guilt or apologize.
It was fun! Judge Judy (and the other court shows) check small claims files around Los Angeles for obviously stupid cases. I was in high school, so my dad had to come on the show with me, but long story short - a kid jumped feet first into a couch and destroyed it. Then his family told us to f*** off after ignoring us for... months. It was fun to get my make up done back stage when I was 17, got a laugh watching my dad get make put on him too. Judge Judy roasted the crap out of a kid I hated (who years later *69 calls me to... idk annoy me? Or something?).
The bottom line is, if you win, you will get paid the settlement guaranteed, whether by the defendant or the show itself.
Two girls from my high school were on the show. One girl pushed the other into a pool at a pool party and broke her iPhone, so they were sued in small claims court. Resulted in a CLASSIC clip of one of them replying to Judge Judy when she says "This isn't rocket science. What is rocket science?" You must watch it's so funny.
Didn't go in the show, but met her at an event a few years ago.
She's teeny tiny, and every bit as terrifying in person as on camera. That personality is not an act.
She yelled at my husband to hurry up as I posed for a picture with her. She scared him so much, he dropped the phone and I have an awesome picture of blurry carpet to show for the interaction.
"didn't you get my letter?"
I was invited to have my case heard by the delightful Judge Judy, but tragically had just cancelled my small claims lawsuit two days previous. The producer called me and was like, "didn't you get my letter?" and there apparently was one airmailed overnight to me at my front door by the time she called. For awhile I had it framed because it was hilarious but I was honestly more upset I was deprived of a Judge Judy opportunity, than the fact that this guy's dog had bitten my face unprovoked and not paid for my emergency room visit. Forget you, Cody.
Anyway, they will pay to fly you out and stay, including any pertinent witnesses. Judge Judy is stacked.
"Thanks for the morale boost, taxi lady"
I met her in real life in 2013 or '14. I'm a journalist. I was scheduled to interview her at 9am in the lobby of a very plush hotel where she was staying with her husband. I don't know if she still is, but at the time she was the highest paid television star in the world, making a lot more than David Letterman was getting on Late Night or Charlie Sheen was getting on Anger Management at that time.
High profile interview. Unfortunately, I went out drinking the night before. I woke up, it was 8.55am. I was at least 30 minutes away by cab. I raced out of bed so fast, I didn't even stop to brush my teeth. I took the toothbrush, toothpaste and mouth wash with me when I went to flag down a cab. In the passenger seat of the cab, I took a huge swig of mouthwash, realized belatedly that there was no where I could safely spit it out so I spit it back into the bottle it had just come out of. Good times.
The female taxi driver asked me why I was in such a panic. I said, I'm supposed to meet Judge Judy, the scariest woman on television, and as things stand I'm going to be at least 20 minutes late. The taxi driver listened in silence and said "Yeah, you're screwed. You think you'll get fired?"
Thanks for the morale boost, taxi lady.
On the way, I send about a million text messages to Judge Judy's publicist telling her I was dropping my daughter to the creche, I was involved in a collision, my car had to stay at the scene of the accident so I'm en route in a cab. Bullcrap excuse I figures Judge Judy will see through in a split second - not least because all of these text messages were sent AFTER I was already late for the appointment.
Get to the hotel. It turns out, miracle of miracles, that the PR person for the local TV station has also not shown up. So while Judge Judy and her team are obviously a little put out, I still end up looking like the more competent of the two local media representatives, despite being twenty minutes late.
I had a long chat with Judge Judy. She was on holiday and completely unlike the person you see on TV. Totally chilled out and good humored. She introduced me to her husband who was an ex-judge himself and, again, the nicest person you could ever meet. She was telling me how they each had children from previous relationships, and good relationships with their exes, so they had a proper blended family - which was the first time I'd ever heard that phrase and it made total sense. I tried to ask her about one or two specific cases I'd seen in episodes. But she was just like, listen, we record entire seasons back to back in two weeks. I don't remember ANY of the specific cases. It's all a blur. Fair enough. We chatted for about an hour and they wished me well and I left.
Two minutes after I'd gone, I got a call from my newspaper. They wanted me to go back and pose for a picture with Judge Judy to go with the article. She was in another interview at this point, so I had to wait in the lobby for about an hour replying to emails on my phone.
When I got back up to her hotel suite, her husband answered the door. He greeted me warmly by name and asked me if I'd heard back from the cops about the car at my daughter's creche. The cops? My car? My daughter? I didn't own a car, or have a daughter. What the hell was he talking about?
Thankfully, I belatedly remembered the bullcrap story I'd given them two hours earlier and said I was going to collect the car right after I left here. They seemed to believe me. Or maybe they were just being polite. I don't watch her show, but they were both very nice people to me when they didn't have to be.
Has anyone seen that Judge Judy episode where either the plaintiff or the defendant claimed to have been locked in the cemetery all night long and later it was found that this guy has appeared on other shows as well but just faking the facts. I tried googling it but did not come up with it.
Lol when I worked for JJ there was a judge Mathis lady who also worked at my local courthouse and we'd see each other once in a while when we were searching for cases and had like a stupid little rivalry. Sometimes I'd arrive and the court lady would say I have to wait for the Mathis lady to get through with the case files and I'd like side eye her as she took all the primo cases, and visa Versa. Once I was there before the Mathis lady and she saw I had a big stack of new case files and she just said "god darnit!" And left.
"Never got a dime."
I lent a co-worker $500 for what she said was how much she was short on buying a new car... turns out she had a severe gambling problem (something apparently everyone in the office knew about except for me).
Of course despite having a written contract saying when she would pay me back I was forced to resort to Small Claims Court.
Shortly after I filed I received a letter from the producers of Judge Judy offering to settle the matter on the TV show.
I explained I had a very detailed written contract with my co-worker and therefore I didn't think the case would be all that exciting as it was open and shut.
I later wished I hadn't been so rash as despite winning my case so in theory I was supposed to get to garnish her wages but since we were taxi drivers who paid a lease for the vehicles we drove thus no salary to garnish.
Never got a dime.
I certainly would have won on Judge Judy and the show would have paid me plus I could have embarrassed my co-worker on national TV.
"OD'ing on endorphins"
At 18 years old, I loaned my ex $5000 to purchase a truck. We had a contract and I was on the title. We had been dating for almost 4 years and I had a lot of trust in him and his family.
As it goes, he buys the truck and we break up two weeks later. He must've forged my signature because they got my name taken off the title. His parents had possession of the contract and refused to give it to me. For almost 2 years I tried to work something out as adults for him to repay me. I finally gave up. Enough was enough - I wanted my money back.I filed at my local small claims court. A few days later I get a call from a California number. I didn't answer, thinking it was a spam call. Turns out, it was a producer from Judge Judy wanting to talk to me about my case. Due to anxiety and the fear of somehow losing my case on TV, I ignored it. A week later I received a priority mail letter from the producer, once again asking that I contact them and some details about the process.
I decided to step outside my comfort zone and just give her a call. She was super nice and made me feel like I could really do this. I agreed to come on the show. We emailed back and forth for a few days. Once she got my ex and his mom to agree to come on the show, the ball started rolling. The producer and the legal team emailed me a list of everything I should bring - bank statements, the contract template, text messages, really anything I had that could help prove my case.
The producer also informed me of some small details. Such as - not wearing white or any prints. They show up funny on the camera. You're also not allowed to wear any logos.
Our process went super quick. We agreed to the show and the next week they had everything set to leave - plane tickets, hotel and driving situations.
They pay for your plane ticket, your hotel, and a driving company to take you to and from the airport and the studio. They also give you $75 as petty cash for your trip.
Our taping was on the third and last day of our trip. We arrived, went through security and were put in a nice room while we waited. We also got to see a makeup artist for a few minutes to apply makeup good for the bright lights.
When it was our turn, they gave us a run down of where to walk, what to do, where to stand, etc. Then they sent us out and turned on the cameras. The audience members get paid about $20 to sit there for the episodes shot that day. Judge Judy was talking to me first, got some background information and had me explain the situation from my POV. After she heard my side, she started going in on my ex. Mind you, I had at least 30 pages of evidence, he had a torn piece of printer paper.
After being unsatisfied with his ability to answer her, she called his mom up. His mom attempted to defend him, but really just made a fool of herself too.
I sat in complete awe as a woman I've watched on TV since young-4's verbally curb stomped two people who had been taking advantage of me and getting away with it for almost two years. My ex was also physically abusive, which the producers knew about and had me send them documentation of that (pictures, texts). This didn't get brought up in the hearing, but I brought it up in my interview.
It was really smooth sailing for me for the rest of the taping. It lasted about 10-15 minutes. After calling my ex and his mom grifters and dimwitted, Judge Judy awarded me $5000. You leave all your evidence, phone, etc on the podium and they bring it out to you after your interview.
As soon as you exit the doors seen on the show, there is a large back room with the crew. Right there you do your interview. A man asked me a bunch of questions and my ex and his mom sat about 10 feet away seething at me. If looks could kill. But, I was high on endorphins because it went better than I could've ever hoped, so it didn't bother me.
I didn't see his interview until it aired, as I left right away for the airport.
Definitely one of the greatest experiences of my life and I'm so grateful my boyfriend encouraged me to take a chance on myself. If this taught me anything it's - step outside your comfort zone and for the love of god, don't loan people money.
I had a friend who was on it. Old friend of mine, Louis. He died of Leukemia about a decade or so ago. Anyway, on the episode, it was his ex-friend trying to sue him because Louis beat his butt. Louis' defense was "He showed up to my grandma's house, dddrrr--unk... " In his very very stereotypical gay voice. I wish I could find it. I miss him :(.
I spoke to judge Judy once. We did construction work in her home. She was nice! She even invited us to a show.
My friend admitted to being addicted to porn on Judge Judy, it was a case about his girlfriends landlord steeling stuff and claiming she(the girlfriend) was dead... Stay tuned.
Would have been a few years ago, he is working now but said he would write about it. Till then here is another interview he did. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8U_L5itI6w8
Got paid $400 w/ a free trip(flight, hotel) and our episode never even aired.
My uncle was on an episode of Judge Joe Brown in which he was suing Cheri Currie (of the Runaways) because they wrote and performed an album together but she refused to credit him or pay royalties. He lost the case but someone from the show told him the verdict has already been predetermined.
My friend's son was on it. He was being sued by his best friend. He (friend's son) was very obviously guilty and Judge Judy read him the riot act. He said Judge Judy looks a lot older in person. I was surprised that he didn't actually have to pay the plaintiff the 5,000. The show paid for it.
My crappy brother was on Judge Judy. For weeks leading up to the taping he would post all over FB about how justice will be served and she is the real deal. When he went to the taping, he was the defendant. She raked him over the coals and saw right through his BS. She ruled against him. He posted cryptic messages on FB for the next few days about there being no real justice. Hilarious.
I used to work for judge Judy picking cases to go on the show. CBS employs "stringers" in tons and tons of cities and basically you just go to the courthouse once or twice a week and read through every small claims case, pick out any that are bizarre or funny and send them in. If the case is chosen you get a letter and a little like decal thing that says your case was chosen and will air on X date. They paid basically 10 dollars per case submitted, usually like 150 a week, and you can't send in land lords suing tenants/evictions. (This was in like 2011/2012 I believe when I worked for them in addition to another part time job).
Two of my cases got chosen over a year or a year and a half. One was two hillbillies fighting over a calf they both used for roping practice but one took the calf from the other without telling him and it died during a roping practice somehow.
The second was a guy who stabbed his roommates crappy old Honda Accord with a replica Braveheart sword, like stabbed it through the hood following a room mate dispute and was being sued for the damages.
It was a cool/easy part time job and I read some funny stuff.
If your case is chosen, CBS/JJ contacts you, if you both agree, the P and D are flown out to LA, put up in a fancy hotel all expenses and meals paid for the week/weekend, whatever money the P is suing for they get regardless of judgement (paid by CBS) and the D doesn't have to pay anything regardless of judgement.
My wife was on the show because her ex boyfriend owed her money for their apartment. Her and her cousin flew out there had a nice mini vacation Judge Judy ruled in her favor and she recorded a VHS of the episode when it aired.
Judy ruled against a child because he was suspended as a bullying victim. She claimed that no school would suspended a victim, showing she had done no research.
True, I was a bullying victim, a boy I never met literally tackled me (I'm F) and my head hit a wall, spilled a small bit of blood. I fought back to get him off me. I got a worse suspension because he was an athlete. (Think small town who lives for game seasons).
Eventually, it came out that he sold drugs on school property and was taking them as well. Lost his full ride scholarship to 2 main schools in our state.
I remember reading an article years ago about some roommates that basically wanted a vacation in California so made up some dispute, agreed whoever got payed would pay it back, and then got put up in a nice hotel in LA for a week. Either the production company didn't figure out their game or the roommates were entertaining and convincing enough that the PC didn't care.
Edit: Found the link.
Apparently I had a few facts wrong. The plaintiff doesn't actually pay, they even get an appearance fee. So they just split the whole pot.
I got a letter from the Judge Judy producers in the mid 90s. It was a small claim I had filed regarding a loan I made that was in default. I called the number for poops and giggles. A real person answered on the second ring, and we talked for about 15 minutes. I told the person that I had a notarized contract for the loan, and it had been filed with the Recorder's Office. We also discussed that my contract was very simple, yet I have it updated annually by a lawyer, and that I had already repossessed a vehicle (collateral was the car title), and the small claim was to offset some of the difference.
The "case screener" told me horror stories from his interviews, I told him about the process it takes to record a loan with the county, and other such things. I truly believe the call lasted for a full 15 minutes because it was a nice reprieve in the screener's day. It was a bit of a Craig's List "lost connection" event.
"And Mathis too"
My wife was sued by her ex 15, or so, years ago and they both wound up on Judge Mathis. I went for morale support and wound sitting next to her as a witness. Honestly, I hated the whole experience.
They flew us to Chicago for the night, which was fine but, the day of the taping was pretty crazy. Everything seemed rushed, there was a whole lot of 'go there, stand here'. What I found most interesting were the number of assistants the show had and I don't think any of them could pass up a mirror without primping themselves relentlessly.
"Season 17, episode 127"Giphy
My best friends ex husband was on Judge Judy. He yelled at her! BF won't tell me much about it though. Ex got some kind of injunction on the episode and no one can find it on the internet. Season 17, episode 127.
Haven't been on Judge Judy, but have been to small claims a fair number of times. My first time there, I was shocked how much it was like Judge Judy! Partially at least due to the magistrate having a similar persona. But very much just he said/she said, what proof do you have, boom you're done here's the decision.
My ex's friend was on the show a long time ago. I don't remember the specifics but a detail I do remember is he was told to start crap with Judy as much as possible. Be sassy. It would make for a better episode.
"the gig is up"
My ex brother in law was on judge Judy. She ripped him a new one, called him a gigolo. Most people would be embarrassed, he was just happy to be there. They both got paid so if all worked out.
My co-worker went on to defend a purchase of a bed and furniture on his exes card. He had purchased them then broke up with her. He is a moron. Anyways, he wore a shirt like red or something and the producers were like can't wear that color on the screen. He said he didn't do anything for free. After what was I guess a pretty funny argument the producer pulled $80 out of his own wallet and paid him to charge shirts.
In the end Judge Judy believed his lies and the girl had to pay for the furniture.
My ex was holding all of my clothes/shoes/possessions hostage and wouldn't respond to calls/texts/emails. I gave this info to Judge Judy but she declined.
I was invited to her show. I had filed a case in small claims court against a former roommate (I owned the house) for several hundred dollars (wasn't more than $1000, but don't remember the exact amount). I got a UPS next day air letter on a Saturday morning asking me to call the producers.
The letter offered me free travel and lodging to appear on the show and came with the guarantee of payment (from the show) if I won my case. It specifically mentioned that I might have difficulty collecting the judgement even if I won my case in real court. I'm not sure what they offer the defendant to appear (they might still try to get them to pay by subrogation, though there is an obvious conflict of interest there).
Either way, I decided that my first national TV appearance wasn't going to be on her show, so I never called them. I still haven't made it on national TV, but my case was settled to my satisfaction without having to go to court, so I'll chalk it up as a win.
I worked on the show for 3 summers as a Production Assistant. Pretty much saw and heard it all. AMA. I saw her every taping day. I kept her fridge stocked. Diet Peach Snapple is her go to. And lord don't bring her regular Peach Snapple, lol.
She is a very nice lady who can bring the hammer down if needed.
Everything is already decided in a different court beforehand. If your case/behavior is ridiculous enough you get invited to reenact it on the show, and they kick you a few bucks. I know the "Poodle Lady" who has been on a couple times. She's worse in real life.
My mom was suing our neighbor in small claims court and a producer of the show reached out to her and offered her an appearance on the show, she considered it but ultimately decided not to,'I can't remember why.
My mom used to work for HR in that county. One time she actually called her Ms. Judy instead of your honor, and got yelled at for it.
"business as usual"
Its very exciting being on that show. It seems like forever before they call your case, then even longer before they read out your fate. Most of the time though, they already know what's going to happen before you ever get called into the courtroom. You hear rumors that they have a pretty good idea of what everyone's fate is before the cases are even brought into the courtroom so they can make their decision faster. When it's your turn though, it almost feels like the entire world stops while the judge reads out your sentence. Once its over though, its back to business as usual.
"not for dad"
My dad always tells me how when she was doing family court she was the judge for my dad and mom on who got custody of me my dad presented all this information on how she wasn't a fit mother. She went in favor of my mom so I basically was put through hell with drinking and driving and among other things not going to get into details but I finally got to live with my dad in the middle of 7th grade but thats my judge Judy story
My teacher actually went on there too about selling a phone on Ebay.
I wasn't on the show personally but my son's fathers brother was... click the link, I promise you wont be disappointed. He is the shorter one....
Was on the show. They promised us free lunch before hand and brought it up multiple times in talking about organizing the show beforehand.
I assumed it would be something classy. They are a high end production company after all. It's NBC.
Arby's. DAMN Arby's are you kidding me.
I was never on her show, but she presided over my first hearing as a law student in New York in 1977. I was working as a student "law guardian" defending alleged juvenile delinquents in the Manhattan family court. My very first case was a young fellow who jumped over a turnstile in a subway station with a loaded 38. The court was going to throw the book at him.
Pending the probation department's report, which was probably going to be bad, I offered to "take him home" rather than having him spend more time in the grim juvenile facility known as Spofford. There was a bit of an uproar, papers flew and tempers flared. But the judge decided that this was a pretty neat idea.
He slept on the floor of my wife's and my tiny 17 x 11' student apartment on Washington Square for 10 nights. We got him a Social Security card, a green card and a job. 30 days later, the judge expunged his record.
Decades later I walked into the kitchen of our home in California and a small TV was on and I heard a voice I had never forgotten. I looked at the screen and there she was - Judge Judy!
"Maybe 15 years ago..."
Maybe 15 years ago my best friend bought a bunch of Magic the Gathering cards on ebay and, when they came in, the majority of the high value cards were missing. This was like a $400-500 order and, for a high school kid, the missing cards were a major issue.
This dragged on for months when they finally got Judge Judy involved. Suprisingly, the show got back to my friend right away asking if he was serious about all of this because if he wanted to move forward they were ready to make contact with the other party. I believe the deal was something like they both would be flew to California, sign over any rights to REALLY sue over this, Judy would make her decision, and both sides would get like $300 for their time.
My friend was over the moon about all of this. Turns out when the letter got to the other party in this case they immediately offered a full refund for the cards. I still wish this would have gone all the way if only to hear my friend Bob explaining Magic: The Gathering to Judge Judy.
"A guy from my high school..."
A guy from my high school knocked over some guys motorcycle, and being a punk kid, tried to run away without paying damages. The motorcycle owner sued him and his dad for the insurance deductible. Well, before the show, he's boasting about how he won't take her schtick, and he'll tell her off. After the show, he wouldn't talk about it. When the show aired, she made him cry.
Last year my girlfriend was on Judge Judy and i was her "witness" because she didn't want to go alone. About 4 years prior her boyfriend at the time convinced her to give him $5,000 for a truck and she was smart enough to put her name on the title. Fast forward a couple years and they're broken up, and her ex-someone weasels his way through secretary of state, forges her signature, and gets her off the title.
The funny part was that we were suing in our district court and Judge Judy producers contacted us. Paid us for the 3 day trip, flight to LA, and the hotel on sunset. Even gave us each 75$ for food.
My girlfriend spent a month preparing all of her papers and stressing about what she would say, and how to respond to Judy. The day comes and we roll on set with a STACK of papers and we see her ex come in and he has a single torn strip of paper. This is when I knew it was over for them. Not even 2 minutes into my gf explaining what happened, Judy hones in on her ex, calls the guys mother up to the stand with them, and proceeds to roast the hell out of them, calling them grifters and half-wits.
She let the dude say about 10 words before she promptly cut him off and said "judgement for the plaintiff in the order of $5000.
Kinda sad that the show pays the $5000 and that guy got off for free, but the public humiliation was definitely a perk.
Filming was quick, about 10-15 mins of shooting and about 2hrs of waiting in a backroom beforehand.
It was unscripted, a lot of fun even though I had to see the guy who assaulted me. There's a good couple months of build up to the whole thing where they tell you the accused is calling you a liar and all this stuff. They gave my dad like $20 for being on with me but gave me like $4000.
Someone said that everything is decided beforehand but that wasn't my experience. She is the arbitrator of the case. They make it very clear in the contract which I still have.
I really wish I could find my episode.
They contacted me after I filed the case in claims court. I was originally planning on filing for the full amount of damages I could (about $9,000) but they can only deal with small claims cases so I agreed to take the lower amount (it guarantees payment instead of hoping that the accused actually pays what they owe).
The audience are all paid actors. I had brought people hoping they could be in the audience but they watched from the green room.
She shares a set with Judge Joe Brown, they just swap out the sets.
It's super dusty on set, I'm guessing they keep it like that so nothing shines in the camera.
"One nice thing..."
I worked for the Judge Mathis Show.
Everything is completely real, and the case is really decided by Judge Mathis. It's technically arbitration, so that's how the claims get settled.
The funniest case while working there: A woman who produced homemade dildos sued another woman for 3,000$ dollars worth of unpaid merchandise. During her case, the plaintiff handed Judge Mathis a briefcase filled with dildos. They cut to a perfect shot of judges face looking into the case with his face looking like :0
The show pays the small claims amount for the defendant if the plaintiff wins. So everyone appearing on the show has nothing to lose except their ego imo. Unfortunately, there are a lot of drug users who appear on the show. It wasn't uncommon for a case to be scrapped because the defendant was too loaded to make it out to film.
One lady was so high, she escaped her greenroom and ran to the main lobby of the building wearing nothing but a loose shirt, she was donald ducking it, and titties flying everywhere.
Another lady somehow arrived at the wrong hotel when the private driver dropped her off downtown. We get a frantic phone call from her saying she's lost in the "bad side" of the city. We located her in the shopping district (nicest area), high AF rambling nonsense to other people on the sidewalk. God, so much of the job was like herding fucking cats.
One nice thing about the show is that if the defendant is willing, the show will also cover most of the cost of rehab. Quite a few people take the show as an opportunity to erase their outstanding debt to the plaintiff and try to get clean. I think like plaintiffs on the show have an 80% win rate.
I was on with my best friend about 15 years ago. She sued an ex-roommate for trashing/stealing her stuff after a big fight (I was a witness). They flew all of us out and put us up at a really nice hotel on the Sunset Strip. They provided trans-continental airfare, transportation, and a per diem.
The first day we rented a convertible Mini Cooper and drove around Hollywood. Getting onto the main highway was a scene straight out of Clueless - couldn't shift out of 3rd, we were doing 40mph with people honking and screaming around us at like 80, thought we were gonna die. Drove up to the Hollywood sign, which is a bad idea since there's nowhere to park for pictures, but that didn't stop us or an Asian family with the same idea, but they actually climbed that steep hill; cue more honking and screaming from the locals.
Walked around, shopped, got dinner, got drunk, had a promoter flag us down and gave us free drinks for the night to go into what turned out to be a strip club (it was like a naked Cirque du Soleil, those women were so talented), and then back to the hotel's rooftop bar until closing.
The next day a car brought us to the studio, which was basically a smaller-than-you'd-expect warehouse. I was surprised to see a line of people outside - turns out they were extras trying to get into the audience. An assistant checked us in, took us to hair and make-up, then dropped us in a green room for an hour or so. It was actually painted green and my hungover ass scarfed some pastries and juice off the buffet. Meanwhile another assistant was talking to my friend (she was the plaintiff), trying to get her all pumped up about how awful the ex-roommate was.
They get us out to the tables and tell us this might be television, but it wasn't Jerry Springer and the bailiff will yank up anyone who gets rowdy. He was a very smiley guy, but I believed them.
Judge Judy comes out and starts up the case. (She's so tiny!) My friend says her piece, ex-roommate goes next, I open my mouth to argue with ex-roommate even though you aren't supposed to talk out of turn, and then snapped my mouth shut when Judge Judy barely glanced at me. Her eyes pierced my soul, I shit you not. I wasn't getting on her bad side for anything.
Anyway, my friend won her case, like $3,500, so the interview after was basically us being smug and virtuous at the camera. Car back to the hotel, drunk again, and a flight back home the next day.
About a month later the episode aired. I never saw it but my boss did. He called me up, laughing, to tell me he saw it and that until that moment he'd thought I was lying about needing time off to go on the show. Props to him for being a good boss, though, because he'd approved the vacation pay and hadn't given me a hard time about it in the first place.
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