Judge Judy Sheindlin has filed her first lawsuit as a plaintiff against an attorney whom she says “should have known better” than to use her image to promote his law firm.
Sheindlin, the popular star of “Judge Judy,” filed a suit in federal court asking for $75,000 in damages from John Haymond and his Hartford, Conn., firm.
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According to The Associated Press, the lawsuit alleges that Haymond used Sheindlin’s image
to advertise his services, with the implication that she "endorsed his firm."
According to the New York Daily News, Haymond said in a statement
that it was a misunderstanding, and that he didn’t instigate the commercials.
“I was shocked to learn that Judge Judy filed a lawsuit against me for the very promotions in which I endorsed her,” he said. “It had always been my understanding that the promotions were properly authorized.”
TMZ reported that Haymond said Thursday the commercials weren’t about his firm
but were about her show.
Haymond told the gossip site that ABC approached him about doing the commercials for the “Judge Judy” show and he obliged. He also said that the local affiliate should be able to clear this up.
The television ads were aired last year and interspersed clips from “Judge Judy” with information on Haymond’s firm, the AP said.
Sheindlin, who makes $47 million a year on her daytime show, said in a statement that should she win the lawsuit, the funds will go toward college scholarships.
“I have chosen for all of these years on television to maintain my reputation by not endorsing other people's products and services, despite many offers to do so,” Sheindlin said in the lawsuit, “because I believe that it is inconsistent with my judicial career.”
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