Petri Hawkins Byrd, who served as bailiff on the Judge Judy show for 25 years, expressed disappointment after learning that he will not be a part of the judge's next show. Speaking with Entertainment Weekly, Byrd said Judy Sheindlin didn't offer him an opportunity to join the new show on IMDb TV, which debuts on Nov. 1.
The bailiff said he learned about the new show last year when the judge made the announcement on The Ellen DeGeneres Show.
"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 said.
As the crew wrapped up production of the final Judge Judy season, Byrd's wife Makita Bond-Byrd, a longtime producer of the show, was scheduled for brain surgery while battling cancer. As a result, the bailiff said he was more focused on his family instead of Judy's next step.
"I didn't have time to think about or ask about Judy Justice," Byrd said. "It wasn't until July that I called the judge and asked, 'Hey, should I look for something else or am I included in the Judy Justice project?'"
The judge then informed her longtime TV partner that he wouldn't become a part of the next chapter.
"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," Byrd said. "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."
Sheindlin's new bailiff is Kevin Rasco, a man who has been providing personal security for the judge on her show.
"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," Sheindlin said in a statement.
Byrd said his last conversation with Sheindlin "ended pleasantly enough." Still, he remains disappointed by the decision.
"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," he added.
According to Newsweek, Judge Judy decided she would leave CBS as her contract was coming to an end after 25 years.
"CBS sort of felt they wanted to optimally use the repeats of my program because they have 25 years of reruns. So what they decided to do was to sell a couple of years worth of reruns, but I'm not tired," she said. "So Judy Justice will be coming out the year later. Judge Judy you'll be able to see next year, all new year, all new shows, with a ponytail. The following couple of years you should be able to watch reruns to the station CBS has sold. And Judy Justice will be going elsewhere, isn't that fun?"