05/18/2024

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Baloney: Judge Judy files lawsuit against parent company of National Enquirer for article saying she supports murderous Menendez brothers appeal

Baloney: Judge Judy files lawsuit against parent company of National Enquirer for article saying she supports murderous Menendez brothers appeal

Judge Judy [image via screengrab]

Judge Judy is saying “baloney” to a National Enquirer article that claimed she is supporting the appeal for the convicted murderers, the Menendez brothers.

Judith Sheindlin on Monday filed a lawsuit against Accelerate360, the parent company of the National Enquirer, for an April 10, 2024, titled “Inside Judge Judy’s Quest to Save the Menendez Brothers Nearly 35 Years After Their Parents’ Murder.” The article first appeared in InTouch Weekly and then reposted elsewhere, including the Enquirer.

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    On the front page of the tabloid, a headline read “True crime! Judge Judy’s FIGHT FOR LYLE & ERIK!” with photos of Sheindlin and the two brothers. The article claimed the brothers “gained a powerful ally in their quest for a retrial” and said the trial that put them in prison for life was “rigged.”

    “Sensational, headline-grabbing copy? To be sure. Accurate? No,” the 20-page lawsuit filed in Florida state court said. “As a judge’s stock in trade is her reputation, these defamations are especially damaging in that they strike at the heart of Judge Sheindlin’s good reputation.”

    The suit claims her reputation took a “body blow” in “one fell swoop.”

    A jury convicted the brothers for the 1989 murders of their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in Beverly Hills, California. But now the brothers are aiming for a new trial after a member of the Latin boy band Menudo alleged that Jose Menendez, then a music executive, sexually abused him in the 1980s. Attorneys have also uncovered a letter Erik Menendez wrote to his cousin about eight months before he killed his parents that alleges his father sexually abused him. Those tidbits allegedly corroborate the brothers’ claim that they killed their mom and dad to stop abuse and not to inherit millions.

    Lyle Menendez Erik Menendez prison reunited

    An Oct. 31, 2016 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Erik Menendez, left, and a Feb. 22, 2018 photo provided by the California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation shows Lyle Menendez. The Menendez brothers, who were convicted of killing their parents in their Beverly Hills mansion nearly three decades ago, have been reunited in the Southern California prison San Diego’s R.J. Donovan Correctional Facility. The brothers are serving life sentences for fatally shooting their parents, Jose and Kitty Menendez, in 1989. (California Department of Corrections and Rehabilitation)

    But Sheindlin never expressed support for the Menendez brothers. According to the suit, the authors of the article misconstrued Sheindlin for “Judi Zamos,” an alternate juror in the trial who is interviewed in the Fox Nation docuseries Menendez Brothers: Victims or Villains. The suit claims it was done on purpose, and the authors knew it was not true.

    “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,” Judge Judy told Deadline. “When you’ve done it multiple times, it’s unconscionable and will be expensive. It has to be expensive so that you will stop.”

    The lawsuit, which does not specify an amount, claims that after the article was published, “humiliation ensued.”

    “Judge Sheindlin was skewered variously with hatred, distrust, ridicule, contempt or disgrace — precisely as one would expect upon being told she questioned the fairness of the trial convicting the Menendez brothers,” it said.

    The National Enquirer has recently been in the news after its former CEO David Pecker testified at the hush money trial of former President Donald Trump that the supermarket rag bought and “killed” the story about the affair between Stormy Daniels and then-presidential candidate.

    Marisa Sarnoff contributed to this report.

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    The post Baloney: Judge Judy files lawsuit against parent company of National Enquirer for article saying she supports murderous Menendez brothers appeal first appeared on Law & Crime.