Judge Judy’s Granddaughter Who Butts Heads With Her On TV Show Praises Her For Being ‘Strong Matriarch’

Judith Sheindlin, known professionally as Judge Judy, is America’s beloved television court judge. Known for her blunt personality and determined attitude, Judy has become a fan favorite in the TV world with her show “Judge Judy,” which aired from September 1996 until late July 2021. She has become extremely successful for her courtroom reign on television and is even launching a spin-off series to continue to help people with their legal issues by presiding over a plethora of new cases.

Judy grew up in Brooklyn, a borough in New York City, before going on to study government at American University in Washington, D.C. She earned her Juris Doctor degree at New York Law School in 1965, the same year that she passed her bar examination. While the former prosecutor and Manhattan family court judge is most known for being Judge Judy, she is also a producer behind the scenes and an author. She has also won a handful of awards and accolades and has continued to be recognized as one of the best courtroom judges.

Along with being a notable figure in the courtroom, Judy has also become that one special person to her long-time partner, who was also a TV judge. At work, Sheindlin had to deal with a fair share of problems in front of her as she presided over several cases, and her marriage has also had a few problems. However, both she and her partner have continued to love and support each other and ultimately have been able to make their marriage last an incredibly long time.

According to Biography, the judge was born Judith Susan Blum on October 21, 1942, in Brooklyn, New York. Speaking to The Guardian in 2008, Judy described her father as “the greatest thing since sliced bread” and her mother as “a meat and potatoes kind of gal.” After her father died in 1990, she said her mother kept the family together.

Judy graduated from American University in 1963, and stayed on to continue her studies at American University Washington College of Law. After a year, she continued her studies at New York Law School. By the following year, Judy had earned her law degree, passed the bar exam, and was hired as a corporate lawyer with a cosmetic firm.

Starring as Judge Judy for so long earned Judy plenty of awards and recognition. In 2015, she earned a Guinness World Record for being the longest-serving judge of arbiter in courtroom-themed programming history. She also received a Lifetime Achievement Emmy in 2019 for her work on television. Just because “Judge Judy” is over does not mean that Judy has left the industry. In fact, a “Judge Judy” spin-off titled “Judy Justice” premiered on Amazon’s free streaming service on Nov. 1, 2021, to rave reviews, receiving a Daytime Emmy Award for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program for its first season.

So how exactly did Judy rise to prominence?

In February 1993, Judy became a national figure when a Los Angeles Times featured her in their newspaper. This led to a segment about her on “60 Minutes,” which became the catalyst for her upcoming TV fame.

She was then approached to run a courtroom program to which she agreed. In 1996, she retired from the bench to star in her courtroom program, “Judge Judy.”

When the program first made its way to daytime television in 1996, it had to square against heavyweights such as the iconic “Oprah Winfrey Show” and “The Jerry Springer Show.”

By its third season, “Judge Judy” had vaulted past the morning titans and took the gold as the highest viewed daytime program. By the turn of the century, “Judge Judy” had become a staple of American television, and Judy had become an A-List celebrity, and it has been only up and beyond since then. In 2007, Forbes listed her as the 13th richest woman in entertainment. A 2013 Parade article on the judge found she was the highest-paid person on television, earning $47 million a year, or $900,000 per workday, as she worked for only 52 days a year.

Judy’s personality and intelligence have been determining factors in her fame. Now that she is jumping from daytime television to a streaming service, she said it was a choice that she continues to stand behind. ‘You’ve got to be in it to win it,” she said. Her wit and decisiveness helped determine the truth on the show, even when cases were tricky to manage. “It’s not show business if there ain’t no show, but the message is consistent, and I mean it,” Judy said.

Prior to the release of “Judy Justice,” the no-nonsense judge didn’t have too many sleepless nights over whether it would be a success.

“I assume that I’ll know if ‘Judy Justice’ bombs,” Judy said, explaining that it would be obvious based on if it gets renewed. “At this point, I don’t need that validation of my footprint.”

The significant wealth that Judy has accumulated has led to some considerable properties as well. E!Online reports that Judy owns at least six luxury properties across America: two in Naples, Florida, and one each in Greenwich, Connecticut, Newport, Rhode Island, Manhattan, Los Angeles. Each of these estates is worth upwards of $10 million each and all are the epitome of opulence.

Judy also doesn’t need to fly commercial as she has her own private jet that ferries her from the east to the west coast as per her filming schedule. She also used to own a mammoth 152-foot-long yacht named “Triumphant Lady,” but she ended up selling the $6.9 million vessel. Judy certainly lives life large!

How is it that Judy amassed her $420 million wealth through her television series? The New York Times reported in 2019 that Judy approaches the president of CBS Television Distribution and negotiated a contract in the same no-nonsense manner she reserves for her show. She reportedly “writes down the salary she wants, seals it in an envelope and presents it at the end of the meal,” and does not entertain any counter-offers by responding, “This isn’t a negotiation.”

By the end of “Judge Judy’s” run, it was believed Judy was making upwards of $47 million per year.

This just goes to show that Judy is a self-made woman whose personality continues to be celebrated even today. Not too bad for a girl from Brooklyn.

However, Judy has had her fair share of difficulties in her life as well. Judy has taken her job very seriously during the 25-year run of her program “Judge Judy,” so much so that she had ignored some of the warning signs leading up to her mini-stroke and continued to work despite displaying some worrying symptoms.

The incident shocked Judy’s family, fans and her producers, as she has been seen as a tough-love kind of woman and court judge. Since her medical crisis, she has been able to get back to focusing not only on her job but on her health as well, as she has learned her lesson and now knows to pay closer attention to early signs. Although the incident happened many years ago, Judy revealed the medical issue to the public because she wanted to make sure other women knew to not make the same mistakes she made and to make sure that they knew to take their health seriously.

Although the TV judge stated back in May 2021 that she was ending her famous show in late July 2021, many people across the country have resonated with her as a professional and as a person, leaving many to worry for her well-being when she suffered her medical emergency.

In May 2011, the Daily Mail reported that the TV court judge may have suffered a mini-stroke while she was filming “Judge Judy.” Judy, who was 68 years old at the time, explained that she may have experienced a Transient Ischemic Attack (TIA), which led her to “start asking questions in slow motion,” according to the Daily Mail.

Though Judy is known most for her career as a strict lawyer, she is a family woman as well.

Her first marriage was to Ronald Levy, a juvenile court prosecutor. They were married in 1964 but divorced 12 years later, states Women Working. They had two children together, Jamie and Adam. Judy has spent a lot of time in the courtroom, much like her current husband, Jerry Sheindlin. From this marriage, she has three stepchildren, Gregory, Jonathan, and Nicole.

Jerry is a retired New York Supreme Court justice who also went on to become a TV judge, according to E! Online. He was an arbitrator on “The People’s Court” from 1999 until 2001. Although their marriage has not been perfect, Judy and her husband have shown an immense amount of love and respect for each other over the years. According to Country Living, Judy and Jerry first met in a bar. Judy simply walked up to Jerry, put her finger in his face, and the rest is history.

The couple had gotten married back in 1977 but divorced in 1990 after Judy had endured some stress and struggles within her personal life following her father’s death in 1990. Jerry struggled to understand how to properly take care of his wife during this time, which only created more problems between them. “She said to me, ‘If you can’t maneuver this, I’m going to divorce you,’” Jerry recalled. “And I said, ‘Oh yeah? I dare you.’ And the next day I got divorce papers.”

Luckily, the couple was able to come together again and remarried the following year. “I missed Jerry,” Judy told Closer Weekly. “I like to have someone to fuss over.” Judy has three stepchildren with Jerry, and a total of 13 grandchildren.

It won’t come as a surprise to hear that three of her children pursued a career in the legal sector. According to The New York Times, Adam Levy worked as district attorney for Putnam County, New York, and Gregory and Nicole are also both lawyers.

Nicole even co-founded “Her Honor Mentoring” with her mom; a program that aims to match female high school seniors with successful female career mentors to give them future career guidance. Cheat Sheet reported that since its creation, the mentoring services they started have become available to more and more young people in Westchester County as well as the New York area.

As for what kind of parent Judy is, it is likely she may be a bit more on the strict side. However, the does not mean that she does not love her kids. On one of the episodes of “Judge Judy,” she told a person at her court, “My children are better looking than you, sir, and they don’t get over on me either.”

Judy is also a grandmother to 13 grandchildren! Unlike her children, she reportedly has nothing but gentleness for her grandchildren. “I spoil them,” Judy said in an interview with Entertainment Tonight. “I’m trying to think of how we don’t, but the answer is we do. We don’t even think we’re doing it.”

Even though she is known for her no-nonsense and strict demeanor on her show, Judy’s relationship with her family shows that she is a softie at heart, and has nothing but love to give when it comes to what is most important to her.

One of Judy’s grandchildren, Sarah Rose Levy, not only pursued a career in law like her famous grandmother, but is also a regular on her new streaming show.

The law clerk on “Judy Justice” told Good Morning America it was surreal to have her own grandmother hand her her scroll when she graduated from New York Law School in 2022. “It was a great legacy moment for me,” Levy said.

Although the two are close, Levy said they have butted heads on the show but that only served to make it better.

“Not only are we trying to give the audience a takeaway and a real legal lesson from the case but I think it shows that different generations, we think differently. We have different morals, different standards,” Levy explained. “And I think that healthy discourse between the two, being able to air that and show that – I hope that showing the disagreements in a healthy way – I think it’s great.”

Levy also penned a heartfelt letter to her grandma published by Good Housekeeping, in which she lauded Judy for creating a “strong safety net for our entire family.” She added, “Family is so important, and I have seen firsthand how amazing it can be when there is a strong matriarch leading the way. You saw qualities in me that I eventually discovered but might not have without your nurturing and constant direction. You have had a significant impact on many young ladies’ lives, as evidenced by the fans who come up to you to share that you’re their inspiration for success. … With your advice and direction, I have all the tools I need to be a strong, independent woman. I am so lucky to have you as my biggest cheerleader and supporter — and very best friend.”

How wonderful do you think it is for Judge Judy to be working alongside her granddaughter? Do you share a special relationship with any of your grandchildren? Let us know and don’t forget to pass this on to them as well as all your family and friends.