Judge Judy Sheindlin’s longtime bailiff, Petri Hawkins-Byrd, spoke out about not being invited to join her on her new IMDB TV show, “Judy Justice,” after working with the celebrity for 25 years.
Byrd is perhaps best known to fans as the no-nonsense bailiff who made sure no one got out of line in the courtroom on “Judge Judy.” He was with the show until it finished in 2021. However, speaking in a recent interview with Entertainment Weekly, Byrd explained that he wasn’t aware that Sheindlin was moving onto a new TV project until after it was already announced.
“My assumption is if you were going on to do something else, that you were at least going to ask me if I wanted to have the opportunity to audition for the role,” Byrd explained.
In a statement provided to Fox News, Sheinlind confirmed that Byrd is not going to be working as a bailiff on her new show.
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“Byrd is terrific and we had a great 25 year run. This is a whole new program with a whole new cast and an exciting energy,” the statement read.
Unfortunately, the famous bailiff was not able to devote too much of his attention to not being asked to join “Judy Justice.” After filming wrapped on “Judge Judy,” he devoted his time to caring for his wife, Makita Bond-Byrd. She worked as a longtime producer on “Judge Judy” and was reportedly invited onto “Judy Justice,” but health problems made that impossible.
The outlet reports that she had just completed her third round of chemotherapy and was about to undergo brain surgery, where doctors successfully removed 95 percent of a tumor. After the worst of his family strife was behind him, Byrd says he gave his former boss a call to ask her if he should plan to be involved with her new show after working with her since 1996.
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“She informed me I was not being asked to come along on the project,” Byrd explained. “I didn’t inquire as to why, that’s her choice. But she did inform me that fundamentally, I was priced out as the new bailiff on her new show. My salary would have been too much. I was curious: How would she know? She didn’t ask me. She didn’t give me an opportunity to have accepted a lower salary.”
“The call with Judy ended pleasantly enough,” he added. “I don’t think she understood how confused and dismayed I was after being there for 25 years, from the beginning of her career, and not being at least given the opportunity to say whether or not I wanted to continue that relationship.”
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Fortunately, Byrd is taking the situation in stride. He’s been able to parlay his fame as Sheindlin’s former bailiff into a guest spot on “The Bold and the Beautiful” as well as some voiceover work. He concluded his interview with the outlet by noting that he believes the situation is all part of his destiny.
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“God has something else for me,” he concluded.