Judge Judy sues National Enquirer for defamation over false Menendez brothers story

"Judge Judy" Sheindlin is entering a different court after she filed a lawsuit against the parent company of the National Enquirer and InTouch Weekly for defamation. 

Her lawsuit centers around 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.

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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.


Trial of the Menendez brothers in Los Angeles - From left to right : Erik Menendez with his attorney : Leslie Abramson and his brother Lyle Menendez. Los Angeles, 9th March 1994. (Photo by Ted Soqui/Sygma via Getty Images)

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.


Judge Judy Sheindlin seen on stage during the 2017 Forbes Women's Summit at Spring Studios on June 13, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Gary Gershoff/WireImage)

"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."

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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.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. This story was reported from Los Angeles.