Petri Hawkins-Byrd, best known as the bailiff for Judge Judy Sheindlin on the show “Judge Judy,” says fans will not get to see him reprise his role in the spinoff series “Justice Judy.”
While speaking to “Entertainment Weekly,” the 63-year-old television personality told the outlet that he was excluded from the new series, but he caught wind of the new project when Sheindlin made the announcement in 2020 during an appearance 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 explained that he told Sheindlin, noting that the pair never discussed the new show during their time filming the 25th and final season of “Judge Judy.”
Byrd explained that he “didn’t have time to think about or ask about ‘Judy Justice,’” because after filming wrapped up he had to focus on his wife, who’s also a veteran show producer, Makita Bond-Byrd, who was scheduled to have brain surgery. “EW” reported that doctors were able to remove 95 percent of her tumor.
Byrd revealed that he eventually reached out to Sheindlin in July. “She informed me I was not being asked to come along on the project,” he said. “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.”
The star said “she didn’t give me an opportunity to have accepted a lower salary.” He later added that although their conversation ended well, “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.”
Byrd was replaced with Kevin Rasco, who he says served as Sheindlin’s personal security guard during her time on the show. News of Byrd’s replacement did not sit well with fans of the syndicated show, including one Twitter user who wrote, “@ByrdtheBailiff deserved better after 25 years….SMH. Shame on you @JudgeJudyTV!”
“Damn. She did him dirty,” expressed another person.
A spokesperson for the judge told “EW” on Friday that: “Byrd is terrific and we had a great 25-year run. This is a whole new program with a whole new cast and exciting energy.”