After completing a 25-year run with the syndicated Judge Judy, Judith Sheindlin launches Judy Justice, a new court show that will stream weekdays on IMDb TV starting Monday, November 1. But she also changes bailiffs, replacing Petri Hawkins Byrd, who served as Judge Judy‘s bailiff for all 25 years, with a new bailiff named Kevin Rasco. And no, it wasn’t Byrd’s choice not to return.
“She told me I wasn’t being asked to participate in the project,” Byrd tells EW.com of a conversation he had with Sheindlin when he asked her if he’d like to join her. Judy Justice. Byrd recalls Sheindlin telling him that he was “amazed as the new bailiff on her new show. My salary would have been too high.” But “how would she know?” he notes. “She didn’t ask me. She has not given me the opportunity to accept a lower salary.”
Byrd assumed that “if you were going to do anything else, you would at least ask me if I wanted the chance to audition for the part,” he adds. But it didn’t, and Byrd still doesn’t understand why he wasn’t asked back. However, his conversation with Sheindlin ended amicably: “It just happened that way. I just know that God has something else for me.”
Sheindlin released a statement saying, “Byrd is great and we’ve had a great 25-year run.” But, she added, “this is a very new program with a whole new cast and an exciting energy.”
Judy Justice shows Sheindlin reviewing cases along with a new team of legal aides, including Rasco – who provided Sheindlin with personal security during her days at Judge Judy — along with court stenographer Whitney Kumar and clerk Sarah Rose, who is also Sheindlin’s granddaughter.