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Joy Behar Page

Making Sense of Senseless Crimes; Interview With Judge Judy

Aired November 24, 2009 - 21:00   ET


JOY BEHAR, HOST: Tonight on THE JOY BEHAR SHOW, it seem as though the news has been filled lately with stories of violent teens. Is there a way to make sense of these senseless crimes? We`ll discuss that.

Then, will President Obama have the chance to put another judge on in the Supreme Court? If so, who will it be? I vote for Judge Judy. She`s smart. She`s outspoken and she`s right here on the studio with me.

Are the holidays a good time to tell your family that you`re gay? I would say yes, but make sure they have had a few eggnogs first. Coming out for the holiday; some of my funny friends will join me to discuss. Ho, ho, ho.

All this and more tonight, starting now.

I`m a little nervous because I usually only see my next guest when she`s sitting on the bench in a courtroom. She`s a good friend and she`s one of the most outspoken women in America. And I`m thrilled to welcome her, Judge Judy Sheindlin, host of the nationally syndicated "Judge Judy Show".

Welcome to my show Judy. It`s so great to have you here on my own show.


BEHAR: Thank you.

We`re going talk about a lot of stuff because I have you for a lot of time even though you`re on a rush. But still.

First let`s talk about some crime stories because the last few weeks have been loaded with these stories about juveniles committing crimes.

This one horrendous, hellacious story about a 15-year-old girl who killed a 9-year-old girl because she wanted to see how it felt kill somebody. What do you make of a story like that?

SHEINDLIN: It comes at a very inauspicious time for juveniles who are criminals because the Supreme Court right now is pondering whether or not it is cruel and unusual punishment to sentence a juvenile for a non-capital offense, which is not murder, to life in prison without the possibility of parole.


SHEINDLIN: If you commit heinous crimes...

BEHAR: The big Supreme Court.

SHEINDLIN: Yes, the big Supreme Court.

BEHAR: Not the state.

SHEINDLIN: No, the big one.

BEHAR: The Supreme.

SHEINDLIN: The Supreme.

And the argument is that it is unkind and cruel to take a person who is 17 or 18 years old who commits a series of heinous offenses and say that they are beyond redemption.

These cases, this 15-year-old girl who slit, allegedly confessed to slitting the throat of her neighbor who was 9, she wanted to feel what kind of sense that would give her.

BEHAR: Is she just like a -- is she mentally ill or does she have a screw loose or what is the story?

SHEINDLIN: Well, you can`t be stable if you do that.

BEHAR: No, she`s not stable.

SHEINDLIN: You can`t be stable if you do that.

If you think about it, Joy, anybody who is a serial killer or a serial rapist or pedophile, they`re not stable. They`re not sane but they`re not insane within the purview of the criminal justice system.

BEHAR: There`s a difference between being legally insane and just crazy.

SHEINDLIN: Right. You have to be crazy.

I mean, Hitler was crazy, yes. He accomplished an awful lot in his craziness and when you get him you`re going to kill him. But he was crazy. We have a lot of crazy people.

BEHAR: Would you say he was legally insane? Hitler.

SHEINDLIN: No. Just evil.

BEHAR: Just evil.

SHEINDLIN: And that`s the point. There are people who are evil. I`ve been in the justice system for 40 years. And there are people that by the time they are 12 and 13 and 14 and 15 have committed such crimes, that you can tell as a precursor to what their adult activity is going to be. If you start out by skinning cats and chopping up dogs.

BEHAR: They`re torturing animals, right?

SHEINDLIN: And setting the house on fire and then moving on to sexual assaults. You have an idea that this is not the kind of person that is ever going assimilate into the community.

BEHAR: If a kid at 2 years old is being cruel to animals. It`s not just the terrible twos, the kid has got an issue.

SHEINDLIN: That`s true.

BEHAR: This particular girl had some signs. She tweeted or she had on the Facebook her hobbies were cutting herself; cutting and killing people. Nobody picked this up. It just went sort of unheeded.

SHEINDLIN: And the Internet is an interesting tool but not necessarily always used for good. I wouldn`t know. I don`t use the machine.

BEHAR: I know you don`t.

SHEINDLIN: I know that you do.

BEHAR: I have tried to e-mail you many times and there`s nothing there.

SHEINDLIN: Undeliverable, nothing there.

BEHAR: Ok. Let`s talk about another story. There was a stray bullet in the Bronx. A kid got -- she was not killed, but she was hit. And the kid who shot the gun is a baby face also. What is going to happen there?

SHEINDLIN: The kid who shot the gun, who actually allegedly shot the gun is 16 years old. He was with four teenagers and early 20s guys who had been involved in the criminal justice system both as juveniles and adults for years.

BEHAR: They were gang-related types.

SHEINDLIN: Right. And from what I read, and I`m only selling you what bought in the papers that they decided to make this almost an initiation for this 16-year-old. They passed around the gun almost in the case of hot potato. You know they pass it around then they stopped it at him and they said, there`s going to be somebody coming out of the store who dissed somebody from another gang.

You know, one of these crazy businesses. He shot at him. And the stray bullet hits this girl who was just walking home from school, minding her own business.

And it`s not the first stray bullet shooting that they have had in the Bronx. I mean, the last three or four months from the papers, there have been many.

I mean, there was something terrible once happened -- I remember when my husband was sitting in the Supreme Court and he tried a case involving a schoolteacher who was on her way home from school, driving her car. And there were bullets flying across the treat by these morons and she was killed.

And an assistant district attorney in the Bronx was going out to get a sandwich and was shot in the head.

BEHAR: Is there something about the Bronx?

SHEINDLIN: No, I don`t think it`s something about the Bronx. I think that there is lawlessness throughout the city. But I think that some -- in some places...

BEHAR: But the crime rate is low in New York now.

SHEINDLIN: Yes. Crime rate is low. But these kind of stories have to be troublesome to people who have to live and work in New York City.

BEHAR: It is troublesome.

SHEINDLIN: We came home from Florida yesterday to Connecticut, just for the holiday, for Thanksgiving. In the front page of the "Greenwich Time" and you know Greenwich, what happens there? Somebody drives ...


SHEINDLIN: Somebody was shot in the head at a gas station.

BEHAR: In Greenwich, Connecticut?


SHEINDLIN: So you have to be vigilant. And I think that society has to come a point where they say, there are certain people, who by the nature of their criminal activity, even at age 17 and 18, and even younger, we can`t trust them.

BEHAR: You don`t believe in putting these kids away for life or executing them do you?

SHEINDLIN: I didn`t say execute them. The Supreme Court has already ruled on execution of kids. That`s not allowed.

BEHAR: But they could put them away when they`re 15 years old and not get out until they`re 90.

SHEINDLIN: They`ll not get out until ever.

BEHAR: Forever, yes.

SHEINDLIN: So let`s talk about that...

BEHAR: I was thinking coming out here feet first.

SHEINDLIN: Let`s talk about where the emphasis I believe has to be. I believe that you should be able to sentence someone in an appropriate case who`s 17 or 18 years old to life without the possibility of parole because I think that their crimes as is demonstrated by virtue of the heinous nature of their crimes, that they`re dangerous.

Instead of the state having to establish at the end of 25 years that they`re capable of rejoining society, let the onus be on them.

Here you have 10 pages of criteria; what have you done over the last 25 years? And if you can establish that you have been a model prisoner for 25 or 30. That you`ve completed a trade course, that you`ve completed an education, that you have done charity work, whatever it is that you were supposed to do in prison you have done and you are repentant, in addition. Then maybe the community will give you a second chance. But the onus isn`t on the community. The onus has to be on you.

BEHAR: All right. Ok.

SHEINDLIN: Reasonable.

BEHAR: We`re going come back with more of this and we`ll have other topics, too.

SHEINDLIN: But have I something else on this topic. Let`s go and we`ll come back.

BEHAR: Oh you do? Ok. We`ll be right back with more Judge Judy. Ok.



UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: She lives approximately three to six minutes from each of those locations.


SHEINDLIN: So does she have a car?



SHEINDLIN: Or north back to make it Queens.


SHEINDLIN: So is she by car?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: You`re absolutely right.

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: So you`re saying that the same?

UNIDENTIFIED FEMALE: There`s no way -- there`s no possible way.

SHEINDLIN: Hey, shut up.


BEHAR: I`m back with Judge Judy talking about what seems to be the latest trend in American culture, teen crime. You are tough.


BEHAR: You are a tough lady in that courtroom baby.

SHEINDLIN: No, no, no.

BEHAR: And I know you, but you`re like a really sweet pussy cat, really.


BEHAR: You are, but when you get on that bench, you turn into...

SHEINDLIN: A different persona...


SHEINDLIN: Fortunately for my husband, it`s a different persona.

BEHAR: And probably you`re children, too, right?

SHEINDLIN: And my children, especially the grandchildren.

BEHAR: Yes the grandchildren, what do they say? When they see you on television screaming on someone like that?

SHEINDLIN: They laugh. There`s grandma, she`s spouting off again.

BEHAR: Ok, finish you story, yes go ahead.

SHEINDLIN: One thought, also I read in the paper today that some convicted serial pedophiles are suing the state of New York because under a law that was an old one...


SHEINDLIN: These people who had finished their sentences had been retained by the state.

BEHAR: Ok, these pedophiles.

SHEINDLIN: These pedophiles because they are considered still dangerous.

BEHAR: Right.

SHEINDLIN: So they release them from prison but they put them in locked psychiatric hospitals.


SHEINDLIN: Even after they have complete their five or 10 or 15 years.

BEHAR: Because then you can`t be cured as a pedophile they say.

SHEINDLIN: Well, that`s what pundits say.


SHEINDLIN: Well, there are several ways that you can cure a pedophile.

BEHAR: Castration, maybe?


BEHAR: I don`t think that would work.


BEHAR: How do you cure them? Kill them. Kill them. So you would believe in the capital punishment for a pedophile.

SHEINDLIN: No, no, no that`s slightly overboard. However, however, I do believe that they fall into the category of people that we were talking about before that have to demonstrate to the state that they are capable of reentering society. Why do you want to place children at risk by taking somebody who has probably ten convictions...

BEHAR: Right.

SHEINDLIN: ... for pedophilia and put them in a position where they can harm another child unless you...

BEHAR: Yes but they are...

SHEINDLIN: ... unless you are convinced, by their actions, by their treatment, by their statement, that...

BEHAR: But that`s tricky, Judy. Because the only way you would really test it, is to put them with children. And you don`t want to do that because it`s dangerous.

SHEINDLIN: You know, your daughter got married what? Two years ago?




SHEINDLIN: You`re going to be a grandma yet.

BEHAR: Not yet.

SHEINDLIN: Not yet but you will.


SHEINDLIN: How would you like one of those guys living next to you?

BEHAR: I would not.

SHEINDLIN: You would not.

BEHAR: I would not.

SHEINDLIN: And what happens...

BEHAR: I`m very strict on this.

SHEINDLIN: ... if you didn`t know about it and one moved in?

BEHAR: I would not allow it, I would be furious.

SHEINDLIN: You would be furious.

You know when I was sitting as a judge, I used to say to people, let`s say, you know, you have to take a chance on this person. And I would say, you know, if I would take a chance with my own children, I`ll take a chance on them.

BEHAR: Right, well, that`s correct...

SHEINDLIN: But if I`m going to take chance on my -- with my children, why would I want to take a chance with a stranger`s child? Is that fair?


SHEINDLIN: Is that reasonable?


SHEINDLIN: So I think...

BEHAR: So what do you think they should -- let`s say they can`t be rehabilitated, even though they`ve served 30 years in prison, what do you do with them then?

SHEINDLIN: You keep them.

BEHAR: Just keep them in jail.

SHEINDLIN: Keep them in jail. Keep them in jail.

BEHAR: Put them all together. Put all the pedophiles together in one cell and see what happens?

SHEINDLIN: Or in one unique -- I travel cross country...


SHEINDLIN: ... every week to go to work.

BEHAR: Yes, yes.

SHEINDLIN: ... from Florida to California or from here to California. And I see an awful lot of space that`s not occupied.

BEHAR: Yes, like Alcatraz.


BEHAR: It`s a museum, why not put them -- let`s resuscitate Alcatraz and put them there.

SHEINDLIN: It`s got too good a view.

BEHAR: It does have a good view you`re right.

SHEINDLIN: I`ve had a lot of places out in the desert that have no view.

BEHAR: I know but you would have to swim to shore which I think is the key there.

All right, but -- can -- going back to the teens for one second. Do you think that these children -- at what point do you say they can be rehabilitated, these kids?

SHEINDLIN: I don`t know.

BEHAR: Because and also you know a lot of times -- my whole thing with kids and being -- kids being bad children, as they say. It all comes from the original abuse in the family in my opinion.

If you were to treat a child well, that child usually, nine out of 10, will grow up to be upstanding citizens. If you hit children, if you are verbally abusive, if you physically abuse them, sexually abuse them, naturally they`re going come out bent and crooked and weird.

SHEINDLIN: Hey babe, listen, I`m with you.


SHEINDLIN: I`m telling you that people should have only the children that they can care for financially...

BEHAR: Right.

SHEINDLIN: ... and emotionally.

BEHAR: Right. I agree, I like a one child family.

SHEINDLIN: ... and emotionally.

BEHAR: I`m like the Chinese. Ok, yes go ahead.

SHEINDLIN: There`s a little article right here...

BEHAR: Yes, go to that. Yes.

SHEINDLIN: There`s an article right here, this is about a woman in Great Britain, not so different from lots of people that we have in this...

BEHAR: Well, they have national health care there.

SHEINDLIN: They have national health care but they also have welfare.

BEHAR: They do?

SHEINDLIN: And this woman has 13 children. Her husband builds little boats but he doesn`t make a lot of money.

BEHAR: Toy boats?

SHEINDLIN: I don`t know.

BEHAR: Or boats that you can get into...

SHEINDLIN: I have no idea. All right, but doesn`t make megabucks.


SHEINDLIN: She has 13 children. And she says, she`s going keep having children until she has twins or triplets because that`s been her dream. To have -- to deliver twins or triplets and she`s paid by the UK $83,000 a year. Her income is supplemented...


SHEINDLIN: ... by $83,000 a year.

BEHAR: Yes, yes.

SHEINDLIN: That in my language...


SHEINDLIN: ... we call it mishegoss -- that mishegoss costs the taxpayers in the UK $83,000 a year. We just visited Great Britain.


SHEINDLIN: They passed a 50 percent income tax.

BEHAR: Yes, everybody chips in there.

SHEINDLIN: Everybody chips in there.

BEHAR: But let me say something about her. She`s in the wrong country. She should be in Italy where they have zero population growth. They are paying people to have children in Italy. Believe it or not, they used to have the bambini constantly, no more the women said, "a basta."

SHEINDLIN: I have had enough.

BEHAR: "A basta". So this woman is in the wrong country. So there are countries that need children. They should ship her over the Palermo.

SHEINDLIN: Write the letter, she`s yours.

BEHAR: I`m going to send the letter to her.

All right, I have some Facebook questions. People are so interested in you. When we said you were coming on the show, they started writing with their little questions here.


BEHAR: Here`s the one. Were you really totally naked in the Jacuzzi with Barbara Walters?

SHEINDLIN: No, the answer is no.

BEHAR: No, was Barbara totally naked in the Jacuzzi?

SHEINDLIN: Thank God, totally no.

BEHAR: Ok, all right, this is a good question. How does she know when people are lying? Can you tell?

SHEINDLIN: Well, yes, I can.

BEHAR: How? How, tell me.

SHEINDLIN: And you can tell probably too. Because if you have common sense and you know that life has a rhythm, if something doesn`t make sense, it`s usually not true.

BEHAR: Yes, yes.

SHEINDLIN: You know, if it looks like a duck and it walks like a duck and it quacks like a duck, it`s usually a duck.

BEHAR: Yes it`s a duck.

SHEINDLIN: And when somebody tells you that it`s a Great Dane, and you can usually tell it`s not a Great Dane.

BEHAR: You know it`s funny we have that woman, that chick that Carrie Prejean on my other show.


BEHAR: And she was sitting next to me. And the question came up, "we`re you under 17 or under 18 when you did that sex tape". And we asked her and some -- one of the girls asked her and she changed the subject and I said to her, we`re you under age?

She finally said yes to me, like that and I knew she was lying. I knew it. It`s like if you`re not lying, you would say, "Of course I was." I can spot it, too.

SHEINDLIN: Yes because where were you born?

BEHAR: I was born October 7th.

SHEINDLIN: No, where.

BEHAR: Where was I born? Brooklyn, New York. Hey.

We`ll be right back with more Judge Judy. Stick around. Two Brooklyn broads.



UNIDENTIFIED MALE: That is for half of that job. That job never even started.

SHEINDLIN: I got it. Now I got it. You always know you keep them talking you`re going get to it?


BEHAR: Who is that -- I love that guy?

SHEINDLIN: Petrie Hawkins Byrd (ph).

BEHAR: You have a long relationship with that guy.

SHEINDLIN: Let`s clarify that, shall we?

SHEINDLIN: Petrie Hawkins Byrd was my court officer in Manhattan? When I was then judge, so when I started this program and the suits decided that it was appropriate to have an actor as a bailiff.

They brought one in. He didn`t know. He was tripping all over himself. He didn`t know my body English -- just didn`t get it. So I said no, I`m going have to choose my own bailiff. I always...

BEHAR: He must have loved that.

SHEINDLIN: Oh he did.

BEHAR: He`s got a gig.

SHEINDLIN: It`s a good gig. Changed his life.

BEHAR: Let`s talk about something else that`s interesting.

There`s a billboard up in Colorado, a car dealer ship, it says President or Jihad.

There it is, you can see it there if you look on the monitor. "Birth certificate, prove it. Wake up America. Remember Fort Hood."

There`s a lot of hate out there for the president? Why is there so much hate for him? Do you think it`s got something to do with his race?

SHEINDLIN: I don`t know. I hate the hate on both sides.

BEHAR: What is the both sides?

SHEINDLIN: I hate the hate about Obama. I hate the hate about Sarah Palin.

BEHAR: I don`t think that`s hatred from the left. I wouldn`t call it hatred. They`re like -- it`s resentment that she`s a liar and that she splits people apart. It`s more resentment than hate. This is hate.

The jihad thing and the birthers -- that`s just going after the guy because he`s black.

SHEINDLIN: You think so?


SHEINDLIN: I hate to -- I actually hate to think so because there are legitimate issues that you can have -- legitimate issues that you can have with this president who I voted for. Who I voted for.

BEHAR: Of course, we have a legitimate issue with him.

SHEINDLIN: Who I would say at this point, some of the things you`re doing are going to really impact on me. Some of the things that you`re doing, I don`t think are necessarily right, domestically. That doesn`t mean we resort to vitriol.

I think that there has to be common ground for all of us as good citizens and Americans to protect people like Sarah Palin. I have watched so I know where you`re coming from with her. But she`s an attractive, articulate woman.

BEHAR: Articulate? I don`t think so.

SHEINDLIN: Listen. She got up before millions of people on a moment`s notice that lots of people couldn`t do and whether it was a written speech or not, she delivered it well. She delivered it well. You have to -- whether you...

BEHAR: I`ll give her that.

SHEINDLIN: I wouldn`t vote for her for president.

BEHAR: And I think she`s pretty and...

SHEINDLIN: And she`s -- listen to this -- and she`s an accomplished woman. She became the governor of a state.

BEHAR: She`s charismatic.

SHEINDLIN: She`s charismatic and all those things. All those things -- I don`t agree with her social views -- most of her social views. I don`t believer probably in her view on creationism. Billy Graham thinks the same thing but I don`t hate him. I don`t hate her.

BEHAR: Isn`t he dead.

SHEINDLIN: He thought.


SHEINDLIN: The archbishop of New York thinks that those people that are pro choice are wrong...

BEHAR: Should not get communion.

SHEINDLIN: And should not get communion. Right. I don`t hate him.


SHEINDLIN: My views differ from his. And if there`s a difference there has to be more of a tolerance.

BEHAR: Ok, we got to come back with more Judge Judy.

Stay there.



SHEINDLIN: What`s next?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: He was telling me, calling my phone, telling me I was going to give the money back.

SHEINDLIN: Why didn`t you give back the money?

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because he gave to it me as a gift.

SHEINDLIN: No, why didn`t you give it back to him if you wanted to get Mr. Beard off your back, you didn`t you just give him his money back.

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the money was a gift.

SHEINDLIN: That would have been, what? -

UNIDENTIFIED MALE: Because the money was a gift -

SHEINDLIN: You`re an idiot.


BEHAR: OK, she doesn`t mean that in a bad way. I`m back with Judge Judy, you know. First of all, before we go on. I must clear up that, I just found out during the break that, Billy Graham is alive and well. It was Billy Holiday I was thinking of. All right, one more story that is interesting to people is this Fort Hood shooter. This guy. And he`s going to plea - you know the guy who shot all those soldiers at Fort Hood, Texas. He`s going to plead insanity.

SHEINDLIN: Well, that`s what his lawyer said. Because what person who is sane would do that? We talked about that a little bit earlier. You know, what person who is playing with a wracked deck would think they were going get way with going in and making a statement by killing, well, he didn`t intend to only kill 13 people. He intended to kill a lot more because he was ready to kill a lot more.

BEHAR: Right, right.

SHEINDLIN: His aim was lousy.

BEHAR: Well was he crazy or a terrorist who is driven to kill because of Jihad?

SHEINDLIN: Who cares?

BEHAR: I know but you have to differentiate between insane and the Jihadist.

SHEINDLIN: No, no, who cares.

BEHAR: No because if you don`t then we`re all going to get all (UNINTELLIGIBLE) insanity.

SHEINDLIN: No, no, no -- He`s not legally insane. He`s crazy, but not, he`s not legally insane. And but -- more interestingly, I don`t know whether they`re going to play that card that since he`s a quadriplegic, you can`t execute him.

BEHAR: Oh my god. They should break all his legs though.

SHEINDLIN: He can`t feel it.

BEHAR: Oh he doesn`t - that`s right.


BEHAR: What about these terrorists being tried in New York City? What do you think of that? Do you think they should be tried in New York? I`m confused about it. I have to tell you. I think on the one hand, I think that we should show the world we`re the best Democracy -- Bush tried to bring Democracy to countries around the world that had no clue about it. It didn`t necessarily work, but he tried. If we`re going to be the greatest Democracy, why not show the world how it looks like - how it works?

SHEINDLIN: In the paper today there was clear indication.

BEHAR: He looks good in that picture.

SHEINDLIN: Yes, he looks very happy. I`ll have him for thanks giving. There is clear indication they`re going to demand in the civilian court that they represent themselves. The last person that I remember, the last -- and there is no basis for the court not the grant that application. Appoint stand by counsel if they have any questions and allow these lunatics to represent themselves. Now, this is what the justice system is supposed to be like, in this country? Do you remember when the Long Island Railroad Shooter represented himself? And he did the -- there was a bunch after trial. Did you see me when I shot you? When I shot the person sitting next to you.

BEHAR: But he sort of projected how crazy and stupid he was, didn`t he?

SHEINDLIN: Of course


SHEINDLIN: But they`re smart. And the people who are watching them, the people who are -- who are reaping the benefit of their craziness out there. The other Jihadists, the other terrorist -- they`re going get messages from them that we don`t want -- we really don`t want to send. It`s not going to be a demonstration of the American Justice System. It`s going to be a circus. And I don`t think it should have happened. I don`t think it should have happen in New York. And I feel sorry for people who actually live in New York who are going to have to foot the bill for $100 million in additional security.

BEHAR: $100 million? Bloomberg could shell that out - he`s got the money.

SHEINDLIN: He`s not going to. He`s not going to put his hand in his pocket.

BEHAR: I don`t know, it`s just a very tricky business - that whole thing. They basically - if the criminal - if it`s a military court room, we won`t be able to see what`s going on. I want to see what`s going on. I like idea of seeing it.

SHEINDLIN: You want to see them represent themselves?

BEHAR: I don`t know if it would be that horrible to see that.

SHEINDLIN: It was horrible for the victims of the Long Island Rail road.

BEHAR: The thing that`s tricky with it - here`s where Obama and I - I don`t think - he`s confused too. Because he says on the one hand, he says, we`re going have a real trial, and then we`re going execute them. So if it`s a real trial, that`s a sham right there. OK. Here are some more Twitter questions. I love these from people. Just tell her, this one just a comment, that watching her, meaning you, scarce my teenage son so much he may never commit a crime if he has to face a judge as if you have as she is. Love her!

SHEINDLIN: Perfect. Accomplished something today.

BEHAR: OK, have you ever been verbally or physically accosted by someone unhappy with your verdict besides your husband, Jerry?

SHEINDLIN: No, fortunately.

BEHAR: How come?

SHEINDLIN: I don`t know. Maybe the scary persona, you know, creates an aura that follows me around. But I have not.

BEHAR: Have they - they`ve never yelled on the street, oh you know, you`re mean. Or anything likes that on the street to you?

SHEINDLIN: No, the worst thing that ever happened to me was sitting in the bagel Nosh and two people were sitting at the next table and they didn`t see us there having a morning bagel. And one said, you ever watch that Judge Judy, she`s the most vicious, mean person, mean spirited person. I watch her every day and I can`t stand her. And I realized that I

BEHAR: That`s a compliment.

SHEINDLIN: I realized that I finally entered the world of entertainment. Because I don`t care if you like me. Just as long as you watch.

BEHAR: Well they`ll cut you out of the mahjong game - you`d have to worry about that. All right would we be shocked to know how sweet you can be? We already discussed this one. That you can`t be (UNINTELLIGIBLE). You`re a nice person. People think that what you are on television is what you are all the time, that`s ridiculous.


BEHAR: Your husband is right over there. Maybe be if he could just raise the hand to say yes? Yes? OK he agrees with us. OK, this guy says, I come from the Middle East. Where most of it, if not all women, is not allowed to be judges. What does Judge Judy think of that?

SHEINDLIN: I think that women make excellent judges because they usually don`t react viscerally. They --

BEHAR: Oh to the contrary to what people think that we`re always on the rag or something.

SHEINDLIN: No, no, no -- they don`t react viscerally. And they`re not hunters. You know, men are hunters.

BEHAR: We`re gathers.

SHEINDLIN: We are gatherers.

BEHAR: And shoppers.

SHEINDLIN: And peace makers. A little shopping never hurt anybody. It was my experience, at least the women who sat in family court, the women that understood the nuances of social situations, which men really don`t. You know men have the - you know they need a good meal, they need whatever, and you take care of those things, they`re happy as clams.

BEHAR: They`re Neanderthal - is in that way.

SHEINDLIN: A little -

BEHAR: But adorable.

SHEINDLIN: But they dress up -

BEHAR: They do.

SHEINDLIN: They clean up nice, you take them to a bar mitzvah. They`re wonderful to have around.

BEHAR: I love Judge Judy, she`s my hero. Please ask her how she stands all the stupid people that come before her. I do believe they keep getting dumber every day.

SHEINDLIN: That`s a very good job. That`s a very good job.

BEHAR: I`ll tell you later, she cashes is check and says, wonderful. I had a wonderful day. She refers to herself as the truth machine. How did her children like growing up with the truth machine? That`s a good one.

SHEINDLIN: You know, I don`t know but the children have turned out just beautifully. I am very, very lucky?

BEHAR: You don`t believe in spanking children do you?

SHEINDLIN: I got a crack once in a while when I was growing up and I usually -

BEHAR: And you remember every one of them then?

SHEINDLIN: Then I usually --

BEHAR: Every kid who gets hit, every grown up that has gotten hit says they deserve it. I do not believe that.

SHEINDLIN: I can tell you when my last spanking was, I was three for my last spanking. And I -- but I remember it. I remember, I don`t remember the transgression. I remember my father giving me pat on the behind and said to me, don`t do that again. And I under the around and said you wouldn`t dare do that again. So -- he hit me again and I under the around, wouldn`t cry, and I said you wouldn`t dare do that again.

BEHAR: Wow the little Judge Judy in the making.

SHEINDLIN: And then, my behind got a little black and blue or hand print. I started to run a fever the next day totally unrelated. They were afraid to take me to the army base doctor because they would take me away. That was the last time they hit me. So I won. I grew up to be a brat.

BEHAR: That`s a different story -

SHEINDLIN: But at least -

BEHAR: You made yourself sick to make a point.


BEHAR: You don`t remember what you did, you only remember that he hit you. That`s my point. The child doesn`t remember the infraction. Only remembers the punishment.


BEHAR: That`s not right.

SHEINDLIN: You know, I think there`s a difference between corporal punishment or -- do we have 30 seconds?

BEHAR: I don`t know, do we have 30 seconds? Yes, we have 30 seconds.

SHEINDLIN: When I was sitting in the family court, this young girl who was a single mother, who worked very hard to take care of her, ran way with a guy 35 years old. Her mother was frantic. Two weeks later, her mother came home from work in the middle of the day and finds her home gathering her stuff. She said you`re not leaving. The girl said, you can`t stop me. The mother grabbed her and said you`re not leaving. And girl said you`re not - you know, Max is waiting outside. And she hit her. And hit her pretty good.

BEHAR: How old is she?

SHEINDLIN: 15. And when she left the apartment, she went to the police station. And her mother was arrested for assault. And they bought an abuse case against her. And I got the abuse case. And the mother said to me, what I was supposed to do. I have one child, she is 15 years old, and she`s going ruin her life with this drug dealer, a 35 year old drug dealer. I wanted her to stay home, she wouldn`t stay home. So I hit her. What would you do? It was interesting. I dismissed the case. It went up to the appellate court, first division first department -- notoriously Liberal at that time. And I didn`t know what they were going to do to me. I expected to be crucified. They didn`t. They affirmed the decision but they were cowards because they didn`t write and opinion.

BEHAR: The story is interesting. But she didn`t accomplish anything. Judge Judy Sheindlin, thank you for joining me. I love you. Ok, you can see her show, Judge Judy, every weekday, make sure you check your local listings or she`ll come to your house and yell at you.



My secret, that`s great. Let`s talk about secrets. Congratulations, honey. May you and your husband live happily ever after Mrs. Gordon. (UNINTELLIGIBLE) to call you yourself now. Or he does. Did you wear a dress? Did you wear white veal or a blue garter belt?

What the hell are you talking about Joan? You are making about as much sense as a (EXPLICATIVE DELETED).


When what?

Thank you.


BEHAR: That was a clip from the movie "Home for the Holidays" look familiar? Family gathered around the table and a secret comes out. Sometimes passing the gravy to uncle Hurry`s roommate, Dave, gives it away. For too many coming out especially during the holidays can be tough. Here now to talk about it are comedian Kevin Meaney, actor and performer Jeffrey Self and comedienne extraordinaire Judy Gold. Welcome to the show. Is it is a good time to come out, at the holidays?

KEVIN MEANEY, COMEDIAN: Yes. It`s the only time. You know you, I got to the stop of the stairs, put a Speedo on, and I just descended the staircase and started -- I am what I am, my own special creation and then the in laws are going - lamb of god, take away the sins of the world.

BEHAR: So how did your wife handle it when she saw you in the Speedo?

MEANEY: No, I actually tried to save the marriage. I asked her to have a sex change operation.

BEHAR: And she wouldn`t do it. JUDY GOLD, COMEDIENNE: I thought she did, I saw her the other day? I think it`s the perfect time to do it. Because then you get it over with and everyone is already there. So they don`t have to call each other and say, did you hear? Did you hear?

JEFFREY SELF, ACTOR: I think also it`s a nice distraction from all the other drama that`s taking place in your house. Everybody`s already mad at each other. So --

BEHAR: But you`re 22. So you`re -

SELF: 22, I actually came out right before thanksgiving one year. I asked my mother, well, Sara Ann my sister is bringing her boyfriend, and Bart is bringing her wife. So I was like, why can`t I bring Matthew. She was like, you can bring Matthew. I said, do you know what that means? She said, yeah, I know what that means. So I`m cool with it.

GOLD: Wow, you`re lucky -

SELF: I`m directing community theater productions of aunty Mama. You know, it was like - buying fabric for it. You can only own so many Patty (UNINTELLIGIBLE) albums, you know.

BEHAR: And not be caught. So your mother was cool with it. Did Matthew you come?

SELF: No he didn`t.

BEHAR: So that dude never came to the party.

SELF: No, he didn`t, he never showed up -- but he was totally welcome.

GOLD: Are you with him still?


BEHAR: No, wait before we go on - how about your father Jeffrey?

SELF: My father found out I was gay via YouTube. Because I had made a YouTube video and I sent it to him. And then he watched other YouTube videos I`ve made and at one point called a guy attractive and he wrote me an e-mail that was like, you know, didn`t know this about you. BEHAR: Your father sounds immature. He`s on YouTube? What`s wrong with him?

SELF: I was sending him links.

MEANEY: My father`s on YouTube.

BEHAR: Is he really? Now when did you come out, Kevin? Because - now Kevin`s a special story because I was at your wedding. Why is it when women marry guys who actually are gay, it`s the biggest wedding they could possibly have.

MEANEY: Well because I design the wedding.

BEHAR: Liza Minnelli`s wedding I went too. Humongous wedding.

MEANEY: When I got the divorce, I got the dress. You know?

BEHAR: But what were you thinking at that wedding?

MEANEY: Well I was in love.

BEHAR: You were in love with her?

MEANEY: Yes absolutely. You know, I still love her today. But I was never really honest with myself. So I would always deny it. People would come over for dinner and they would say, who made the dinner? I did. I decorated the table. You could see the dessert cart in the distance. You know, everything was always there, you know. I decorated - you know -

BEHAR: Well you were raised a roman catholic, am I right?

MEANY: Yes and I actually went to the priests and told them I was gay.

BEHAR: He said, good, come into my back room.

SELF: Me, too.

BEHAR: He said, yeah, baby.

MEANEY: We`re dating now, so --

BEHAR: OK, how about you, Judy? Tell me something.

GOLD: You know, my cousin just reminded me that I made everyone call me Ring one summer. But I was always, you know, I was gay, I knew it when I was three. I knew there was something

BEHAR: How did you know?

GOLD: I just - first of all I never played with a doll. I wanted cars, I never played with a doll. I was like, wow, that girl is really cute, oh, my god! What happen was, my mother, we never talked about it because we`re Jewish. You talk about food, that`s it. One time we`re talking, she told me she realized it when she came to my parent, I`m living with my partner, in an apartment, we had two cats, Martina and Billy Jean. She said, I notice noticed in one bedroom, two alarm clocks. And the other bedroom, no alarm clocks.

BEHAR: She`s like Sherlock Holmes. Now you`re all out. So are the holidays different now?

MEANEY: Yes, I would say -- my parents are very gay friendly.

BEHAR: They were even before they knew were you gay.

GOLD: Your parents were gay friendly and you didn`t come out - -

MEANEY: Well I was just -- I didn`t have the courage to do it.

GOLD: That`s pretty unbelievable.

SELF: That would have been easier too --

MEANEY: Wait a minute. My mother said we should have told you. We should have told you.

BEHAR: That`s always my philosophy that the parent should say to the child, are you gay when they see them playing with dolls when they`re boys.

MEANEY: I asked my mother, did you always think I was gay? She said, you were always answering the door.

GOLD: What does that mean?

MEANEY: I have no idea what that means. She said that.

GOLD: Now that I`m a mom and you`re a dad, don`t you think you`d know if your child was gay?

MEANEY: Absolutely.

BEHAR: We`re going to stay right there. We`re going to come back with more topics. I want to hear about Adam.


BEHAR: OK. We`re back with my very funny and very gay panel. OK, now this Adam Lambert cases, the guy -- you saw the sexual video where he`s simulating oral sex with a guy. He`s kissing a guy. And then he did something weird to a girl also. It was a very sexual concert. OK? Madonna has had those.

GOLD: Yes exactly, Madonna and Britney can make out, but this guy can`t have --

BEHAR: 1, 500 complaints came to ABC after that.

MEANEY: Yes by one person. Like, one person -- that guy from the catholic league. What`s his name?

BEHAR: Bill Donahue. He`s always on my case. Get a life, bill, OK? OK.

GOLD: It would be William Donahue.

BEHAR: Like Jeffrey, Judith, and Kevin. So GAMA canceled the thing. ABC was probably under the gun and said they`re canceling it, which, you know, I work for ABC, but I think it`s cowardly. Anyway, now CBS morning with Harry K. Smith -- not Harry k. Smith, Harry smith, no k. that show is going to show the concert. What do you think of that?

MEANEY: Good for CBS. I love CBS for doing that.

BEHAR: They need the ratings over there because they`re third after the "Today Show," GAMA and that. So Harry Smith and Adam Lambert.

SELF: I`m sure they`ll have great ratings. Everyone wants to see him perform. There`s a reason --

MEANEY: And he`s so good.

BEHAR: You think so?

MEANEY: No, Adam Lambert is, like, just a total genius.

BEHAR: He is?

GOLD: He`s a great performer.

MEANEY: There`s nobody out there that can touch this guy.

BEHAR: Really?

GOLD: He`s really talented.

BEHAR: All right, so but what do you make of that? Do you think it was homophobic response or just sexual things they don`t want to see?


SELF: Mile Cyrus was on the Nickelodeon kid`s choice awards on a pole, wrapped under a pole. Did you see that? She`s in skinny shorts and pole dancing like she`s a show girl.

MEANEY: What about the Dukes of Hazard?

BEHAR: What about the Dukes of Hazard?

MEANEY: They`re jumping in that car.

GOLD: What about Michael Jackson grabbing his crotch -- they would have put him on in two seconds if he said I wanted to have a concert.

BEHAR: Well grabbing your own crotch is different than having someone`s face in your crotch.

MEANEY: Well he`s dead now.

GOLD: I`m sorry.

BEHAR: It`s a little different. GOLD: I`m sorry, many performers are sexual and get to perform - -

SELF: It`s choreography. It happens in all kinds of --

GOLD: It`s because it was gay sex.

BEHAR: That`s what you really think? It`s only gay sex between two guys because a world loves a lesbian kiss. You know how many women I`ve kissed on "The View?" Meredith Vieira, Whoopi, and I have locked lips.

GOLD: And you slept with me.

BEHAR: Once. Does that make me a lesbian?

GOLD: And it was in college. There you go.


BEHAR: Now -- let`s go back for a second and talk a little bit about. How difficult it is to stay in the closet, to be in the closet. Tell me about it.

GOLD: I have to say being in the closet it`s like you`re pretending your whole life you`re pretending someone you`re not. And finally coming out is the most -- I can`t tell you. Being in the closet is so painful. Coming out is freeing and liberating.

BEHAR: Why don`t more gay people come out?

GOLD: Fear because of the GMA thing.

BEHAR: What are you afraid of.

MEANEY: When I came out I was 50. I was in a Broadway show so it made it easier for me to come out --

BEHAR: Everyone else was gay.

MEANEY: Everyone else was gay in the show and showed me the way and gave me the courage to do it.

BEHAR: You`ve got to have friends.

MEANEY: But once you tell one person then you start telling the next person.

BEHAR: And so on.

MEANEY: And the last person to know was my wife.

GOLD: Everyone needs to know they love and know a gay person.

BEHAR: Everybody knows the gay person. The postman is gay, the butcher. Thank you for my panel for joining me tonight. Thank you for watching.