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'Judge Judy' Sheindlin sues for defamation over National Enquirer, InTouch Weekly stories

PEOPLE
Judy Sheindlin

NEW YORK —“Judge Judy” Sheindlin sued the parent company of the National Enquirer and InTouch Weekly on Monday for 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.

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.

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.

“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.”

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.

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Gwen Stefani, left, and Blake Shelton

LAS VEGAS — Gwen Stefani delivered a spirited introduction of her husband, Blake Shelton, on Friday night at the Keep Memory Alive Power of Love gala at MGM Grand Garden.

“I am honored, absolutely honored, to be here tonight to support the incredible work of Keep Memory Alive,” said Stefani, wearing a silver-sparkled dress, “and to celebrate this year’s honoree, Blake Shel-ton!”

Stefani continued, “His heart is as big as his voice. His talent is obvious. He lights up the room and brings a smile to everyone he meets, and that makes us all love him so much.”

The No Doubt co-founder listed Shelton’s supporting organizations nationwide, those benefiting veterans, children’s hospitals, food banks, people with disabilities, disaster relief efforts, wildlife conversation.

Having established a righteous crescendo, Stefani called Shelton to the stage, “Please help me welcome my husbaaaand!”

It took Shelton about two minutes to find his way to the spotlight, but used the suspense to break news.

“They told me that Gwen had some nice things to say, and I didn’t want to miss that, and then there’s no good way to get up on this stage” Shelton started as he took a stool and grabbed a nearby acoustic. “It doesn’t really matter, though. I don’t know if you guys saw the auction earlier. This is maybe the last time I’m ever going to perform country music. I’m a movie star now. I’m not (messing) around.”

Shelton might have paid his way to a second career. He made the top bid for a walk-on role with Mark Wahlberg, an exclusive opportunity to be in an upcoming movie. The project is certain to be filmed in Nevada, should Wahlberg realize his Hollywood dreams in this state.

The walk-on experience includes a look at “the magic of filmmaking” with the A-list star and his cast and crew, and two tickets to the premiere. Everyone wins.

Shelton claimed the auction with a $40,000 bid, a mere pittance for what might be an Oscar-winning turn.

Shelton followed with and acoustic set, starting with a proven audience favorite, Neil Diamond’s “Sweet Caroline.” Longtime Power of Love supporters remember that song unleashed in 2019, performed by Diamond himself, in his what was likely his final public performance.

Shelton and Stefani teamed on “Nobody But You.” The crowd anticipated this the moment she showed up in the room. That audience, especially those crammed at the front of the stage (we call it the Posh Pit) was spirited away. If Wahlberg has a country musical in his holster, he’s already found his man.

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George Clooney

NEW YORK — George Clooney will make his Broadway acting debut next year in a familiar project for the Hollywood star: “Good Night, and Good Luck.”

Clooney will play legendary TV journalist Edward R. Murrow in a stage adaptation of the 2005 movie that earned him directing and writing Oscar nominations and was among the best picture contenders.

“I am honored, after all these years, to be coming back to the stage and especially, to Broadway, the art form and the venue that every actor aspires to,” Clooney said in a statement.

The play “Good Night, and Good Luck” — with David Cromer directing — will premiere on Broadway in spring 2025 at a Shubert Theatre to be announced. It will be again co-written by Clooney and Grant Heslov.

The 90-minute black-and-white film starred David Strathairn as Murrow and is a natural to be turned into a play: The dialogue-heavy action unfolds on handful of sets. The title comes from Murrow's signoff on the TV series “See It Now.”

A key part of Clooney’s film portrayed Murrow’s struggle to maintain support from CBS executives for critical reporting on Republican Sen. Joseph McCarthy, known for accusing government employees of disloyalty. Murrow, who died in 1965, is considered one of the architects of U.S. broadcast news.

“Edward R. Murrow operated from a kind of moral clarity that feels vanishingly rare in today’s media landscape. There was an immediacy in those early live television broadcasts that today can only be effectively captured on stage, in front of a live audience,” Cromer said in a statement.

The Clooneys are boosters of journalism. Clooney’s father, Nick Clooney, worked as a TV news anchor and host in a variety of cities including Cincinnati, Salt Lake City and Los Angeles. He also wrote a newspaper column in Cincinnati and taught journalism students at American University.

At the time the movie came out, Clooney said his family took pride in how journalists held the government accountable during the paranoia of the 1950s communist threat. Clooney said he wanted to make a movie to let people hear some “really well-written words about the fourth estate again.”

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Jerry Seinfeld

As protests over the Israel-Hamas war have spread across university and college campuses in recent weeks, some demonstrations extended into graduation celebrations. Most commencement exercises remained largely peaceful.

However, dozens of the 7,000 Duke University graduates left their seats to protest pro-Israel speaker and comedian Jerry Seinfeld during commencement in Durham, N.C., on Sunday.

Some waved the red, green, black and white Palestinian flag and chanted “Free Palestine” amid a mix of boos and cheers.

Seinfeld was there to receive an honorary doctorate from the university.

The stand-up comedian and actor has publicly supported Israel since it invaded Gaza to dismantle Hamas after the organization attacked the country and killed some 1,200 people in southern Israel on Oct. 7. The ensuing war has killed more than 35,000 Palestinians, according to Gaza’s Health Ministry.

From combined wire services

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