Apparently, Judge Judy's fiery legal temperament runs in the family.
The TV judge's son Adam Levy, the district attorney for New York's Putnam County, has leveled a $5 million lawsuit against a New York county sheriff, alleging that the law-enforcement officer tarnished his reputation by making unfounded comments about him.
In the complaint, per The Huffington Post, Levy claims that Sheriff Donald Smith defamed him by alleging in a news release that the prosecutor had attempted to influence the direction of a child rape case involving Levy's former personal trainer.
The trainer, 35-year-old Alexandru Hossu, is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl and has pleaded not guilty.
Levy, who in court papers described Hossu as "a close personal friend" and a frequent family houseguest, purportedly withdrew himself from the case upon learning of Hossu's involvement.
But Smith claims that Levy continued to have an "ongoing and improper involvement" in the case.
"Mr. Levy's comments and actions would seem to suggest that, if he could have his own way, Mr. Hossu would never have been brought to justice for his crime and Mr. Levy's relationship with him would never have been brought to the light of public scrutiny," Smith said in a news release issued in March.
In his lawsuit, Levy characterized Smith as an "out-of-control sheriff who does not care about the truth" and who "maliciously" tried to ruin his reputation.
For her part, Judge Judy is standing by her son. In a statement, the legal eagle said: "His moral compass is dead center. When someone attacks his character professionally or personally they best be prepared to back it up, shut up or pay up."