By Adam Cohen Wednesday, Aug. 18, 2010
When a defendant showed up on a traffic charge, Judge Judy delivered a zinger: “If you drive like an idiot ’cause you’re late for work, you’re gonna have to pay for it.” Then she piled on: “You can see your picture on the headlines of the Seattle Times, stupid young man who shouldn’t be driving.”
Another defendant recalled that the tart-tongue jurist humiliated and bullied her until she broke down in tears. “She frequently interrupted answers with insults,” the woman recalled.
This bullying Judge Judy was not Judge Judith Sheindlin, the tough-talking former New York City Family Court judge who has the top-rated judge show on syndicated television. It was Judge Judith Raub Eiler, her real-life doppelganger, who sits at a county court in Seattle. Instead of high ratings and rich syndication fees, this Judge Judy’s aggressive demeanor earned her a five-day suspension without pay courtesy of the Washington State Supreme Court.