ABC News’ Abbie Boudreau reports:
Judith Sheindlin, the tough, no-nonsense judge known to TV viewers as “Judge Judy,” is being brought to court herself in a dispute over what is alleged to be more than $500,000 worth of fine china and silverware.
The one-time wife of a producer of Sheindlin’s syndicated “Judge Judy” TV show claims in a new lawsuit that Sheindlin purchased more than $500,000 worth of the couple’s dishes and silverware for just $50,000 and refuses to return it.
“Why did I deserve this,” the woman, Patric Jones, told ABC News. “What have I done to Judy?”
Jones has been embroiled in a bitter divorce from Sheindlin’s longtime executive producer, Randall Douthit since 2007. She claims that while she and Douthit were still a couple, he sold the china without her knowledge to Sheindlin for $50,000.
In the lawsuit, filed this month in California, Jones, who calls the sale “fraudulent,” claims the couple’s Christofle flatware and china is valued at $514,421.14.
Jones also says in the suit, obtained by ABC News, that Sheindlin, who presided as a New York judge for more than a decade, knew that “the sale required both spouses’ written consent” and that the china was “community property” in the divorce.
Jones asks in the lawsuit to have the china returned and is also seeking $500,000 in punitive damages. Sheindlin should ”do the right thing and return the china and silverware,” Jones told ABC News.
“I don’t care about money,” she said. “I just want my property back.”
Sheindlin has responded to the lawsuit with her own statement to ABC News.
Sheindlin said she had, “not seen any complaint by the former Mrs. Douthit, however, I don’t owe this lady a cent. And if this 50-year-old woman would spend her time more productively at trying to find a job, instead of abusing the judicial system with frivolous lawsuits, we would all be a lot better off.”