Judge Judy Has Been with Husband for 44 Years despite Her Father's Death Once Leading to Divorce

Odette Odendaal
Jun 12, 2019
07:20 P.M.
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Judy Sheindlin's marriage to Jerry Sheidlin crumbled down when her father died years ago. After separating for a year, the two reconciled and remarried.

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Judy Sheindlin built her career in the courtroom for several decades. Most recognized as the titular star "Judge Judy," the respected lawyer is now among the most famous judges with her own television series.

Despite the fame, Judy managed to keep her personal life private. Her marriage, however, became the talk of the town when she separated from Jerry Sheindlin shortly after her father's passing.

Judy Sheindlin and Jerry Sheindlin during her being Honored With a Star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame For Her Achievements in Television at 7065 Hollywood Boulevard in Hollywood, California, United States. | Source: Getty Images

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EARLY LIFE

Born Judith Susan Blum on October 21, 1942, Judy grew up in Brooklyn, New York, with parents Murray, a dentist, and Ethel, an office manager. At a young age, she was already fixated on becoming a lawyer -- an occupation her father supported as she was good at winning arguments.

"I could argue my way of any situation," she said, remembering how her father told her to be a Senator. "I figured out you've really got to be a lawyer first. She also felt that being a woman with a different profession than most would make her stand out. True enough, she became a prominent figure.

Judy studied at the American University in Washington DC and graduated as the only woman in her class of 126 students in 1963. While others would have questioned their choice, Judy knew that law was her natural calling.

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Judge Judith "Judy" Sheindlin on May 24, 2012 in New York, United States | Source: Getty Images

Judy finished law school at the New York Law School with some experiences not so favorable to her. During one of her first classes, a professor questioned her with a sexual bias. He asked:

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"Why are you taking up the seat of a man who is going to have to support a family?"

Nevertheless, Judy focused and stayed on track to become a lawyer, which she did after graduating in 1965. She became a lawyer and juggled work with family. At that time, she was married to her first husband, Ronald Lev, with whom she shared two children, Jamie and Adam. They divorced in 1976.

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MEETING JERRY

According to the Judge, Ronald was a wonderful man but did not see her career as anything more than a hobby. Shortly after their split, love came knocking on Judy's door through her second husband, Jerry, a defense lawyer. In one interview, Jerry detailed how he met Judy:

"There was a reporter from the New York Post there at the bar, and I was speaking to him about the case. Judy came walking in and put her finger in my face and said, 'And who is this?'"

Confused, Jerry told Judy, "Lady get your finger out of my face." Their relationship ended in marriage after a year. Over the next decade, both excelled at their careers as Judy got appointed as a family court judge by Mayer Ed Koch while Jerry took a post on the New York Supreme Court.

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DIVORCING JERRY

Judy's life turned upside down after her father died in 1990. Unable to cope with the loss of her father, the only person she could entirely rely on, Judy expected her husband to take care of her like she had taken care of him for years. However, the problem with this was that he did not know how to do so. She recalled:

"I said, 'I've been taking care of you for 12 years, now it's your turn to take care of me.' And he was totally unaccustomed to that role."

Meanwhile, Jerry wanted detailed instruction. "What she said was, 'Unless you change, we can't stay together.' I said, 'Tell me what you want me to do. You can't just say, 'take care of me.' What does that mean?" Jerry said. "Use your words and tell me what you want me to do to take care of you."

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THE RECONCILIATION

Unable to meet in the middle, Judy and Jerry decided to go separate ways and see other people. Admittedly, Jerry missed her as soon as they parted ways because he was not used to Judy being away from his sight.

The following year, the pair gave their relationship a second chance and got married for the second time. Judy recalled being a "little bit of a brat." She said:

"When I thought about it, I said, 'Listen, we've had for better or for worse; now it's for better or forget it. It's got to be perfect this time. Our vows were just what I proposed: 'for better or forget it.'"

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The couple has been inseparable since and live together in their Florida home. They also have a large family with five children and many grandchildren. As for the famous judge, she is nowhere near retirement.

Judy claims she already knows what she likes to do, so there is no reason for her to do anything else but that. After appearing on "Judge Judy" for 25 years, the show was officially canceled in 2020.

Nevertheless, Judy is still interested in appearing on screen and has a show on IMDb TV called "Judy Justice." The exclusive series aired on November 1, 2021, focusing on Judy as she presides over real-life cases.

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JUDY'S CAREER

Judy graduated from law school and passed the bar exam but decided to put her career on hold to be a good housewife. Since her daily court show "Judge Judy" first aired in September 1996 became an Emmy Award-winning show that dominated the Nielsen charts.

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Her unique no-nonsense approach and the ability to sift out the truth made her one of the most recognizable faces on television.

When asked about the biggest flaw in the legal system, Judy said: "The length of time it takes for people to get a conclusion to whatever is interfering with their life [...] Cases take too long -- primarily as a result of lazy judges or lawyers who have financial interest in keeping the case going."

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Judge Judy is also the author of four bestselling books, including "Don't Pee on My Leg" and Tell Me It's Raining." In recognition of her contribution to daytime television, she quickly added to her list of achievements in 2019.

At the 46th Annual Daytime Emmy Awards, Judge Judy received a "Lifetime Achievement Award" and became the first host of her genre to receive such an honor.

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