‘Judge Judy’ Sheindlin Sues for Defamation over National Enquirer, Intouch Weekly Stories

May 15, 2024

“Judge Judy” Sheindlin sued the parent company of the National Enquirer and InTouch Weekly for a story that she said falsely claimed that she was trying to help the Menendez brothers get a retrial after they were convicted of murdering their parents.

The story was first published on InTouch Weekly’s website on April 10 under the headline “Inside Judge Judy’s Quest to Save the Menendez Brothers Nearly 35 Years After Their Parents’ Murder,” according to the lawsuit, filed in circuit court in Collier County, Florida.

A version of the story later appeared in the National Enquirer, a sister publication to InTouch Weekly also owned by Accelerate360 Media. The 1989 Menendez murders in Beverly Hills, California, was a case of some tabloid renown.

Sheindlin said she’s had nothing to say about the case. Her lawsuit speculated that the news outlets used statements in a Fox Nation docuseries made by “Judi Ramos,” a woman identified as an alternate juror in the first Menendez trial, and misattributed them to the television judge.

There was no immediate comment from Accelerate360, whose attempt to sell the National Enquirer last year fell through.

Sheindlin does not ask for a specific amount of damages, but made clear it wouldn’t be cheap.

“When you fabricate stories about me in order to make money for yourselves with no regard for the truth or the reputation I’ve spent a lifetime cultivating, it’s going to cost you,” she said in a statement. “When you’ve done it multiple times, it’s unconscionable and will be expensive. It has to be expensive so that you will stop.”

Sheindlin, who hosted the syndicated “Judge Judy” through 2021 and now hosts “Judy Justice,” has had run-ins with the Enquirer in the past.

In 2017, the newspaper retracted and apologized for stories that falsely claimed she suffered from Alzheimer’s disease and depression and had cheated on her husband.