Early life, family, educational background
American lecturer, television personality and retired Florida Circuit Court judge Marilyn Milian, was born on May 1, 1961 in Queens, New York City, USA. Her parents were from Cuba. Her father, Jorge, was a general contractor, and her mother’s name was Georgina. She never talked about having siblings. She is fluent in English and Spanish and is best known as the president of the American television program ‘The People’s Court’.
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When she was eight years old, her family moved to Miami, Florida, and in 1978 she graduated from St. Brendan High School. She received her undergraduate degree in psychology from the University of Miami in 1981 and graduated summa cum laude with a 4.0 GPA. She studied law at Harvard for a year before transferring to Georgetown University Law Center, where she graduated again with honors.
The personal life of the family
Her husband, John Schlesinger, is a judge of the Eleventh Judicial Circuit Court in the Family Division in Florida, who was elected in 2004 to the same position that Marilyn held before retiring and beginning to work in “The People’s Court.” He graduated from Boston College with a BA in 1982, and received a JD from Suffolk University Law School in 1987.
Marilyn worked for a year as director of education for the Guatemala Project at Harvard Law School. She was responsible for training the Guatemalan judiciary in prosecution and defense techniques.
She was an assistant state attorney for the Dade County State Attorney’s Office from 1985 to 1994, hired by then-state attorney, Janey Reno.
From 1994 to 1998, she was the official Florida judge on the Miami-Dade County Court. During her time on the court, she began her work as an advocate against domestic violence, for which she has gained a lot of respect.
Then Florida Governor Jeb Bush hired her in 1999 as an official judge of the state of Florida. She worked at the Miami Circuit Court in the Criminal Division in the 11e Circuit for Miami-Dade County until 2001.
She taught process skills and was an adjunct faculty member of the University of Miami School of Law.
She is the spokesperson for FBI’s Safe Online Surfing, also known as FBI-SOS.
The People’s Court
In 2001, Judge Milian replaced Judge Judy’s husband Jerry Sheindlin as judge on “The People’s Court”, making her television debut on March 12, 2001 in an episode of the 17e season. She was the first female Latina judge not only on “The People’s Court,” but on every English-language TV series.
She’s been working on the Daytime Emmy Award-winning show for 18 years, starting April 8, 2019, when the 22nd season of the show aired.
Before Marilyn, Joseph Wapner was the show’s longest-serving judge, a record she has since held.
She is considered the opposite of her predecessors as she is more “animated”, often uses hand gestures and speaks loudly, but is praised for being logical and level-headed in handling cases. Although she is usually witty and friendly, she does not tolerate disrespect and makes sassy comments. While her assertiveness, directness, and animated gestures are usually praised, she has also been criticized for being rude to the people on the show at times.
The Defendant and Plaintiff agree to air their Small Claims lawsuits, and agree on who will win before filming the show, through arbitration. The case winner is paid out of the show’s budget, meaning the case losers don’t pay the winner’s costs. The losing sides also get money from the show, through their compensation for their appearance.
In an interview with biddingforgood, Marilyn spoke of America’s fascination with court shows: ‘We are a fast food nation. People love to see a solution, and they want to see someone who has done evil confronted, and justice prevail… all in an hour.” For three days, 10 episodes a day are filmed, after which Marilyn returns to Miami. From 2001 to 2013, the show was filmed in New York City, from there shooting moved to Stamford, Connecticut.
“The People’s Court” is the second longest running courtroom series – the longest running being “Divorce Court”, and is rated the third highest after “Judge Judy” and “Hot Bench”.
She appeared as a judge in three episodes of “As the World Turns” in 2002, and as Judge Alvarez in two episodes of “George Lopez” in 2007. She was a guest on “Jimmy Kimmel Live” in 2006, and a few episodes of “The Dr. Oz Show” between 2013 and 2017.
In 2003 and 2004, she participated as a celebrity contestant on the game show “Pyramid”, and in 2019 on “Who Wants to Be A Millionaire”, she left with $5,000 after missing the $7,000 question – her winnings were donated to Camp Fiesta.
In 2017, Cecily Strong portrayed Marilyn in a “Saturday Night Live” parody of “The People’s Court.” In the parody, Marilyn’s character presided over a case between three judges on the United States Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit and President Donald Trump.
Marilyn married John Schlesinger on April 4, 1993. On an episode of “The People’s Court’s Off-Air,” she spoke about her relationship with her husband, to whom she had been married for 26 years at the time. She revealed that they met at a local bar, and a man stood between them. Marilyn “kicked” the man and said softly, “Introduce me to your friend.”
During the early stages of their relationship, Marilyn was reportedly concerned about how quickly their relationship was progressing, and John calmly told her not to rush. They would “see where it goes.” A year and a few months later, John proposed to Marilyn, expressing his love for her, and handing her a ring from his pocket. The couple lives in Coral Gables, Florida, with their three daughters. Cristina was born in 1996, Alexandra in 1998 and Sofia Elena on November 28, 2001.
Every second month, Marilyn goes to Stamford, Connecticut, for three days to record “The People’s Court.” They still own their New York City apartment, where Marilyn would stay when the show was filmed in New York.
Hobbies, favorite things and interesting facts
In 2003, Marilyn was the host of honor for National President Arnold Schwarzenegger, the annual celebration of the South Florida Inner-City Games.
She supports the Summer Camp of the Children’s Cancer Center in South Florida and organizes “Camp Court,” which are mock trials of camp counselors by the young campers.
She has worked as an emcee for philanthropic causes, including the “Hope for Vision” campaign and the “Washington’s 2002 Teachers Making a Difference” campaign. In November 2011, she became controversial. Michelle Parker appeared on “The People’s Court” and disappeared a few hours after the episode she appeared in – “Dirty Laundry” – aired. The prime suspect was her allegedly abusive boyfriend, Dale Smith, who also appeared in the episode.
Happy Birthday to People’s Court Judge Marilyn Milian! She turns 52 today. Have you ever watched the show? We still catch the occasional re-runs!
Marilyn is an activist for Latin American rights and works with the Latino Commission on AIDS. On September 20, 2006, she was awarded the groundbreaking Latina of the Year award.
She is 1.6 m tall and weighs 53 kg. She has reddish brown hair and dark brown eyes.
Wealth and salary
As of early 2020, her net worth is estimated to be over $20 million.
In her first year working on “The People’s Court,” she earned $500,000, after which her salary was increased to $1 million. After being on the show for four years and the ratings were consistently high, her income was increased again, this time to $5 million. As of 2020, she makes $8 million a year, so her net worth is clearly still rising.