Judith Sheindlin, a.k.a. "Judge Judy," has been telling it like it is for 17 years on her reality court show Judge Judy. A self-proclaimed forthright person, the TV judge recently shared her thoughts with ET on how celebrities are treated in the justice system.
In its mission statement, the U.S. Department of Justice holds that it serves "to seek just punishment for those guilty of unlawful behavior; and to ensure fair and impartial administration of justice for all Americans."
However, Judge Judy declares that the justice system isn't fair and balanced if exceptions are made for celebrities.
"From the standpoint of the justice system, if you're going to make exceptions for celebrities, it's a mistake because...[a layperson] says, 'I did the same thing as that person did and I got one chance and I blew that chance and they put me in jail, and [a celebrity] blew 20 chances and there was no consequence," she asserts.
"This justice system isn't fair and balanced. This justice system is driven by something else, and that's not a good thing. If justice is supposed to be blind, it's supposed to blind for celebrity and non-celebrity."
Judge Judy and ET's Rob Marciano segued into the topic of celebrities when discussing the premise of her new book What Would Judy Say: A Grown-Up Guide To Living Together With Benefits.
The Brooklyn native attributes the social permissibility of unmarried couples co-habiting to celebrities bringing it in vogue. She emphasizes that the actions of celebrities are vastly imitated because celebrities are "glorified and very rarely punished for bad behavior."
Judge Judy's book is based on her website WhatWouldJudySay.com, on which she shares her frank opinions and invites her readers to share stories, some of which were compiled in her book.
"I said, 'You know, there are good stories. Let's share some,'" the 70-year-old New York Law School graduate said of the conception of the book. "Where do you start in the arc? You start in the arc of living together because young people now live together before they decide whether they are permanent partners. ... So, I threw out a question on my website...about living together with benefits."
Now in the eighth decade of her life and about to shoot her 18th season of her show, Judge Judy discussed retirement.
"I have no plans on retiring. I am having a ball," she said. "I'm having such a good time that why would I want to give that up? And do what? I can't actually think of what I would do if I were not working."