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TV's Judge Judy, Conn. lawyer settle lawsuit alleging unauthorized use of image

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HARTFORD, Conn. - Television's Judge Judy and a Hartford personal injury lawyer she sued for allegedly using her image in ads without her permission have settled the case, she said Friday. Terms weren't disclosed.

Judith Sheindlin, a retired Family Court judge who has starred in the show "Judge Judy" for 18 years, said in a statement that she and attorney John Haymond "reached an amicable resolution of their claims against each other."

She filed a lawsuit against Haymond and his firm in federal court in Connecticut in March, saying they had used her image without authorization in advertisements that falsely suggested she had endorsed the firm.

The spots combined footage from "Judge Judy" with clips showing Haymond and his daughters, according to the suit. It said the ads were broadcast in Connecticut and Massachusetts during her show and that Sheindlin's producer had told the firm — to no avail — that the use of her image wasn't allowed.

Sheindlin called the unauthorized use of her name and image "outrageous" at the time.

Haymond later countersued, alleging that she had made defamatory claims against him that hurt his business. Neither Haymond nor his attorney immediately returned calls Friday seeking comment.

Sheindlin had sought more than $75,000 in damages. In her statement, she said the settlement will "solely benefit the girls of Her Honor Mentoring Program."

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