This is not the new legal drama Americans expected from Judge Judy Sheindlin.
When one of the highest paid stars on television – reportedly made $ 47 million a year for “Judge Judy” – left the bench / throne she held for 25 seasons to star in a new streaming series, “Judy Justice” decided the beloved badass to go alone.
Petri Hawkins-Byrd – who had been Sheindlin’s bailiff since the creation of “Judge Judy” in 1996 – revealed that he was “not invited” to be a part of the new show, which aired Nov. 1 on the Amazon streaming platforms and IMDB TV.
“I guess if you had to do anything else you were at least going to ask me if I wanted to have the opportunity to audition for the role,” Hawkins-Byrd, 63, told EW. out “of his concert.
Sheindlin’s sidekick found out about his new show as did the general public – but at the time he was more focused on caring for his wife, longtime “Judge Judy” producer Makita Bond-Byrd, who is recovering from surgery on a malignant brain tumor.
“I didn’t have time to think or ask about ‘Judy Justice’,” said Hawkins-Byrd, adding that Makita had just completed her third round of chemotherapy after doctors successfully removed 95% of his tumor. “It wasn’t until July that I called the judge and asked him, ‘Hey, should I look for something else or am I included in the’ Judy Justice ‘project?'”
It was then that his longtime colleague informed him that he was not invited to his streamer. He didn’t ask why, he told EW, because it was his choice.
“But she informed me that basically I was seen as the new bailiff for her new show,” Hawkins-Byrd said at the point of sale. “My salary would have been too high. I was curious: how would she know? She didn’t ask me. She did not give me the opportunity to have accepted a lower salary.
Sheindlin’s spokesperson issued the following statement on his behalf: “Byrd is great and we’ve had a great 25-year run. It’s a whole new program with a whole new cast and exciting energy. “
However, Hawkins-Byrd said it was a sweet and sour pill to swallow after more than two decades.
“I’m like I’m doing something wrong or offending you or shaming the show, or if I’ve been involved in a lot of scandals over the 25 years we’ve been together, I could understand why you didn’t want to worry at the end, “he said. “This is how it happened. I just know that God has something else for me.
Now Hawkins-Byrd is transitioning professionally. In addition to some voiceover work, he recently did a guest spot on the CBS soap opera “The Bold and the Beautiful”.
He doesn’t hold it against his former boss.
“The call with Judy ended quite nicely,” he said. “I don’t think she understood how confused and dismayed I was after being there for 25 years, since starting her career, and not at least having had a chance to say if I wanted to or not. continue this relationship. “
Meanwhile, Sheindlin, 78, told The Post’s Cindy Adams that she was more than ready for big changes because “25 sounds great. It’s not just 17 ¹ / ₂ years. That’s right, it’s to say “my silver anniversary”. Time for change. And I am not tired. I have worked 50 years and my legs are too short to be a ballet dancer. I wouldn’t know what else to do with myself.
Point blank: the industry is changing – and it keeps pace.
“My children don’t have a landline. They live with one thing in their palm. she said to her friend Adams. “At first, for me, it was like living without pants. In three to five years, all broadcasting will change. Now it’s streaming. I am delighted to be in this new venture. I removed the lace collar. My dress is more chic. A different color.