Page semi-protected

Jeanine Pirro

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

Jeanine Pirro
Jeanine Pirro by Gage Skidmore (cropped 2).jpg
Pirro in 2017
District Attorney of Westchester County
In office
January 1, 1994 – December 31, 2005
Preceded byCarl Vergari
Succeeded byJanet DiFiore
Chair of the New York State Commission on Domestic Violence Fatalities
In office
January 1, 1997 – December 31, 2005
GovernorGeorge Pataki
Preceded byVernon Geberth
Judge of the Westchester County Court
In office
January 1, 1991 – May 1993
Preceded byFrancis Nicolai
Succeeded byDaniel Angiolillo
Peter Leavitt[1][nb 1]
Personal details
Jeanine Ferris

(1951-06-02) June 2, 1951 (age 71)
Elmira, New York, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Albert Pirro
(m. 1975; div. 2013)
EducationUniversity at Buffalo (BA)
Albany Law School (JD)

Jeanine Ferris Pirro[2] (born June 2, 1951)[3] is an American television host, author, and a former New York State judge, prosecutor, and politician.[4][5] Pirro was the host of Fox News Channel's Justice with Judge Jeanine until 2022 when she became a co-host of The Five. She was a frequent contributor to NBC News, including regular appearances on The Today Show. She was also the first female judge elected in Westchester County, New York.

Pirro was elected the first female district attorney of Westchester County.[6] As district attorney, Pirro gained visibility in cases of domestic abuse and crimes against the elderly. Pirro briefly sought the Republican nomination for United States Senate to run against Hillary Clinton in 2006, but dropped out to accept the nomination for New York Attorney General; she lost the general election to Democrat Andrew Cuomo. In 2018, she wrote the book Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy.

Pirro was named as a defendant in a February 2021 defamation lawsuit by Smartmatic, in relation to false claims of election fraud in the 2020 United States presidential election, though the claims against her were dismissed by a judge in March 2022.

Early life

Jeanine Ferris was born and raised in Elmira, New York, the daughter of Lebanese-American parents.[7][2] Her father was a mobile-home salesman, and her mother was a department-store model who spent much of her childhood in Beirut.[7] Her parents were Maronite Catholics.[8][9][10] Pirro knew she wanted to be an attorney from the age of six.[11]

She graduated from Notre Dame High School in Elmira in three years, interning in the Chemung County District Attorney's office during her time in high school.[11][12][2] Pirro then graduated with a Bachelor of Arts from the University at Buffalo. She received her J.D. degree at Albany Law School of Union University in 1975, where she was an editor of the law review.[13][14]

Westchester County law career

Assistant District Attorney

In 1975, District Attorney Carl Vergari appointed Pirro to the position of Assistant District Attorney of Westchester County in New York State, where she began her career by writing appeals and handling minor cases. In 1977, Pirro approached Vergari and requested that he apply for a federal grant for local district attorney's offices to establish bureaus that specialized in domestic violence. She hoped that Vergari would take advantage of potential funding, as well as a 1977 change in New York law that moved many domestic violence cases from family court to criminal court.[15] Vergari agreed to apply for the grant, and his office became one of four in the nation to win the grant. In 1978, he appointed Pirro to be the first chief of the new Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Bureau. Pirro was known to be an aggressive bureau chief. Due to possible coercion, she had a strict policy against dropping cases at a victim's request.[16]

Many people praised Pirro for her passion as Domestic Violence Bureau Chief, but she attracted increasing criticism from some colleagues for what they considered her "attention-grabbing" behavior and violations of tradition. On multiple occasions, Chief District Attorney Vergari spoke to Pirro concerning her violation of office policy. She had issued press releases with her own name—and not Vergari's—on top. The relationship between Pirro and Vergari disintegrated in the late 1980s, after Pirro claimed sole responsibility for the establishment of the Domestic Violence and Child Abuse Bureau.[16]

On June 1, 1990, just five months prior to Pirro's first appearance on the ballot for County Court Judge, she attracted widespread attention for rushing to conduct a bedside investigation of Maria Amaya at the Intensive Care Unit of United Hospital in Port Chester. Amaya had been charged with four counts of second-degree murder for the deaths of her four children. She was a 36-year-old immigrant from El Salvador who had a history of being hospitalized for mental issues. Amaya had killed the four children and attempted suicide, believing that they were being corrupted by drugs and sex.[11]

Vergari had served as district attorney for Pirro's entire tenure as an assistant district attorney and her time on the bench. In 1999, he critiqued Pirro as "bright and capable" and someone who "plays hardball seeking publicity," but who was also "very self-centered in everything she does."[11] While recognized for her prosecution of domestic violence, she was criticized for her relative prosecutorial absence in bringing charges involving major public corruption or organized crime.[17] These criticisms intensified when Pirro's husband was later convicted of several felonies tied to organized crime, including tax evasion and conspiracy.[18] "One would have to believe that there's no organized crime in Westchester County, not a single corrupt official, and every union in this county is as clean as the driven snow," according to William I. Aronwald, who headed the Federal Organized Crime Strike Force during the 1970s and who was targeted for assassination by Colombo crime family head Carmine Persico.[19]

During a 1986 abortive campaign for Lieutenant Governor of New York, Pirro boasted to have never lost a case in "about 50 trials." This number was disputed when presented in 2005 to colleagues, who said that the real number of trials personally handled by Pirro "wasn't more than 10." Pirro's then-spokesman, Anne Marie Corbalis, contended only that Pirro had a "100% felony conviction rate" as an Assistant District Attorney.[16]

Court Judge

Pirro left the District Attorney's office after her November 1990 election as a judge of the Westchester County Court. She had successfully run on the Republican and Conservative party lines against Democratic nominee and New Castle Town Justice Lawrence D. Lenihan and Right to Life Party nominee August C. Nimphius, Jr.[20] When she was sworn in on January 1, 1991, Pirro became Westchester County's first female judge.[citation needed] She was a judge for two years.

District Attorney

In November 1993, Pirro was elected Westchester County District Attorney; she was the first woman to hold that position. She was re-elected in 1997 and 2001. On May 23, 2005, Pirro announced that she would not seek re-election to a fourth term as Westchester County District Attorney.[21]

On December 31, 1993—within hours of Pirro's midnight inauguration as District Attorney—Scripps newspaper heiress Anne Scripps Douglas was savagely bludgeoned in the head with a hammer by her estranged husband, Scott Douglas, as she slept in their Bronxville, New York, home. By the time police arrived, Scott Douglas had fled the scene. Anne Scripps Douglas died in the hospital on January 6. Scott Douglas subsequently committed suicide by jumping off the Tappan Zee Bridge. Pirro, already known as a passionate prosecutor of domestic violence cases, was a frequent presence in the media during the period between the murder and when Scott Douglas's body washed ashore in Riverdale in early March 1994. This increase in Pirro's national profile led to her surfacing as a frequent contributor on network and cable television news in June 1994, when O.J. Simpson was arrested for the murder of his ex-wife, appearing frequently as an analyst on Nightline, Larry King Live, and Geraldo.[16][22]

Within months of taking office, Pirro undertook a costly renovation to the district attorney's facilities and expanded to an additional floor of the county courthouse. The largest expenses were a new kitchenette and a media room, costing $20,000, to assist Pirro's growing profile; additional expenditures were made to remodel her personal office with mahogany.[23]

Pirro was the first female president of the New York State District Attorneys Association. Also while district attorney, she was appointed by then-Governor George Pataki to chair the New York State Commission on Domestic Violence Fatality Review Board. Its report and recommendations resulted in legislation passing that enhanced protections of, and safeguards for, the victims of domestic abuse.[24]

During her tenure as district attorney, she repeatedly refused to reopen the case of the murder of Angela Correa by Jeffrey Deskovic.[25] In 1990, Deskovic was falsely convicted of killing the then-15-year-old Correa, and spent 16 years in prison before he was exonerated by DNA evidence; the real killer eventually confessed to the crime. Deskovic later won a $41.6 million lawsuit against Daniel Stephens and Westchester County for his wrongful conviction.[26]

Statewide political career

1986 Lieutenant Gubernatorial candidacy

On May 26, 1986, Pirro, then an assistant district attorney, was announced as the running mate of Westchester County Executive and presumptive Republican gubernatorial nominee Andrew O'Rourke. Pirro was selected by O'Rourke and New York State Republican Committee Chairman Anthony J. Colavita after nearly a dozen individuals declined the position, including Erie County Executive Ed Rutkowski, Hempstead Presiding Supervisor Thomas Gulotta, and the Executives of Broome and Oneida Counties. Colavita, who said at the press conference that he "had so many say 'no' to me (during the lieutenant governor search), it doesn't hurt anymore," pointed to Pirro's prosecutorial experience, ability to effectively use crime as an issue, Italian married name, youth, and status as a woman when asked about her strengths as a candidate.[27]

Pirro's selection frustrated many New York Republicans, with Assembly Minority Leader Clarence D. Rappleyea Jr. traveling on May 27 from Albany to the first night of the State Republican Committee's Nominating Convention in Syracuse, to tell O'Rourke and Colavita that his conference was concerned by Pirro's lack of political experience or statewide stature. Many Republicans also worried that if Pirro were nominated, their ticket would be too geographically dominated by downstate and the suburbs, with O'Rourke, like Pirro, being from Westchester, and the presumptive nominees for attorney general, Peter King and United States Senate, Alfonse D'Amato both hailing from Nassau County.[28]

On May 28, just one day prior to the scheduled vote for the lieutenant gubernatorial nomination at the state party convention in Syracuse, Pirro announced her withdrawal from the race, saying that her husband could not disclose his legal clients or the couple's business interests (later revealed to have been her husband's partial ownership of a Connecticut garbage hauling company with alleged mafia connections),[17][29] and that many of his clients did business with the state, which would make it "virtually impossible" for her to serve as Lieutenant Governor. Pirro had privately informed O'Rourke and Colavita of her decision during the evening of May 27, and the two were generally supportive, telling the press that her departure had nothing to do with Rappleyea's intervention. Pirro was replaced just six hours after her announcement by Michael Kavanagh, the District Attorney of Ulster County.[28]

2006 U.S. Senate campaign

On August 10, 2005, Pirro announced that she would seek the Republican nomination to challenge first-term incumbent senator Hillary Clinton, a Democrat, in the 2006 election for U.S. Senator from New York. Other Republicans who announced campaigns for the nomination were John Spencer, a former mayor of Yonkers, William Brenner, an attorney in Sullivan County, and attorney Edward Cox, the son-in-law of former president Richard Nixon. In a widely publicized moment when she was declaring her candidacy, Pirro misplaced page 10 of her speech and went silent for 32 seconds, something that was widely considered to have damaged her campaign before it even started.[30]

During an appearance at the Crime Victims Resource Center, Pirro described herself this way: "I am red on fiscal policy. I am conservative and I support the Bush tax cut... I have broad blue stripes when it comes to social issues... I am a woman who is a moderate in New York."[31] Republican governor George Pataki's endorsement of Pirro caused Cox to withdraw from the race,[32] leaving Pirro as the likely nominee. Donors to Pirro's political campaign included designer Tommy Hilfiger (also a native of Elmira) and Donald Trump, as well as contractors and real estate executives who had done business with her husband.[33] Trump spoke highly of her husband at the time, saying: "Al has a good sense of the law and what's practical and a lot of common sense."[17]

On December 21, 2005, Pirro dropped out of the Senate race after continuing pressure from party chiefs.[citation needed] This decision was reached after a lagging fundraising effort, and polls that showed she would be easily defeated by Clinton (a Quinnipiac University poll forecast Pirro would lose to Clinton 62 percent to 30 percent).[citation needed] In a statement, she said, "I have decided that my law enforcement background better qualifies me for a race for New York State attorney general than a race for the United States Senate."[34] Spencer was eventually chosen as the Republican Party's nominee for the U.S. Senate.[35]

During her four-month campaign, the Pirro campaign racked up $600,000 in debt to campaign vendors. By 2019, debts to vendors remained unpaid.[36][37]

2006 State Attorney General campaign

On May 31, 2006, Pirro was unopposed for the nomination and became the Republican Party's official candidate for Attorney General of New York by acclamation at the state GOP convention.[38] She also received the nominations of the New York Conservative and Independence Parties. Pirro lost the general election to the Democratic nominee, former Clinton Housing and Urban Development Secretary and future Governor Andrew Cuomo 58%–39%.[39]


Pirro is the author of six books, two of which are crime novels. Her first book was 2003's To Punish and Protect: A DA's Fight Against a System That Coddles Criminals. It was followed in 2004 by To Punish and Protect: Against a System That Coddles Criminals.

In 2012, Pirro's first fiction book, Sly Fox: A Dani Fox Novel, was released as a crime and legal thriller, followed in 2014 by the second novel in the series, Clever Fox: A Dani Fox Novel.

Her book Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy (2018) is a look inside the Presidency of Donald Trump, as well as the politics surrounding the anti-Trump movement. Radicals, Resistance, and Revenge: The Left's Plot to Remake America (2019) is described as "the latest chapter in the unfolding liberal attack on our most basic values." Her book Don't Lie to Me: and Stop Trying to Steal Our Freedom was published on September 23, 2020.[40]

Media career

Pirro has been a regular contributor to the syndicated morning talk show The Morning Show with Mike and Juliet. She has been a guest analyst on Today, Fox NY Good Day New York. She is a Fox News legal analyst appearing on various shows, and has guest-hosted shows such as Larry King Live, The Joy Behar Show, and Geraldo at Large. She was a frequent guest on Fox's late-night satire show Red Eye w/ Greg Gutfeld.[41]

In 2003, Pirro released the nonfiction book To Punish and Protect, describing life inside the criminal justice system. In 2012, with the assistance of author Pete Earley, Pirro wrote the novel Sly Fox based on her own experiences as a 25-year-old assistant district attorney in Westchester.[41] Pirro appears in the HBO six-part serial The Jinx, recounting her perspective on the 1983 disappearance of Kathie Durst, a high-profile case for which she was the investigating attorney. Pirro was the host of the American reality prime time court show You the Jury, canceled after two episodes.[42]

Judge Jeanine Pirro on The CW

On May 5, 2008, The CW Television Network announced that Pirro would host a weekday television show to be named Judge Jeanine Pirro, part of the network's CW Daytime lineup, with two episodes airing daily. The show was distributed by Warner Bros. Domestic Television, and was carried by default on all CW affiliate stations.[43]

Judge Jeanine Pirro was cleared for a second season beginning in fall 2009. Unlike its first season, the second season, which began in the fall of 2009, was not exclusive to CW affiliates.[44] In 2010 the show was nominated for Outstanding Legal/Courtroom Program at the 37th Daytime Emmy Awards, and in 2011 it won that category at the 38th Daytime Emmy Awards. In September 2011 the show was canceled due to low ratings.

Justice with Judge Jeanine on Fox News

Pirro interviewing Vice President Mike Pence in December 2019

Pirro is the host of Fox News' Justice with Judge Jeanine, which premiered in January 2011. The program airs on weekends and focuses on the big legal stories of the week.

In 2014, Pirro claimed ISIL leader Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi was "released by Obama in 2009".[45] However, Baghdadi was held in custody until 2004, when he was released under the Bush administration.[45]

In March 2019, on her show Justice with Judge Jeanine Pirro criticized Rep. Ilhan Omar for questioning the loyalty of American Jews to the US, by suggesting that Omar's Muslim faith meant she was more loyal to Sharia law than the US Constitution. Pirro said, "Omar wears a hijab which according to the Quran 33:59 tells women to cover so they won't get molested. Is her adherence to this Islamic doctrine indicative of her adherence to Sharia law, which in itself is antithetical to the United States constitution?"[46][47][48] Fox News strongly condemned Pirro's statement.[49] Pirro did not apologize for her remarks, and said that she intended to "start a debate."[47] On March 16, 2019, Fox News decided not to air her show, replacing it with a rebroadcast of a Scandalous episode in its time slot.[50] CNN reported on March 17 that Pirro had been suspended by Fox News, and President Trump wrote on Twitter: "Bring back @JudgeJeanine Pirro. Stop working soooo hard on being politically correct, which will only bring you down, and continue to fight for our Country."[46][51] Justice with Judge Jeanine resumed airing on March 30, 2019.[52]

In March 2020, she hosted the show from home due to the COVID-19 pandemic. She did not appear on air for the first 15 minutes citing "technical difficulties", with Jackie Ibañez covering for her, and when Pirro finally appeared, she was in a disheveled state, slurring her speech, causing widespread speculation that she was inebriated. After one commercial break, she was even seen putting aside a drink with a straw.[53]

After the 2020 United States presidential election, Pirro was an outspoken proponent on her program of baseless allegations involving voting machine fraud that allegedly stole the election from Donald Trump. Hosts Lou Dobbs and Maria Bartiromo also promoted falsehoods on their programs. Smartmatic, a voting machine company that had been baselessly accused of conspiring with competitor Dominion Voting Systems to rig the election, sent Fox News a letter[54] in December 2020 demanding retractions that "must be published on multiple occasions" so as to "match the attention and audience targeted with the original defamatory publications." The three programs each ran the same video segment refuting the baseless allegations days later, though none of the three hosts personally issued retractions.[55][56]

On January 12, 2022, it was announced that Pirro would be a permanent co-host on The Five starting January 24, and ending Justice.[57]

Political positions

Pirro speaking at a Turning Point USA event in 2020

Trump administration

Pirro supported Donald Trump in the 2016 presidential race, while also noting that she was "infuriated" by some of his behaviors.[58] After the release of the Access Hollywood tape, Pirro defended Trump, stating "I have been involved in a million situations with him and his children. He has always been a gentleman."[59]

After Trump's election, Pirro was known for delivering fiery defenses of the president.[60][2] The Washington Post described her show as "almost universally positive about Trump," and Politico described her coverage of Trump as "gushing."[60][61] According to Politico, "From the outset of the administration, she has used her TV platform to hammer the president's critics and to ding his allies, including Sessions, as insufficiently loyal."[59]

In her televised programs and in private meetings with Trump at the White House, Pirro "steadfastly encouraged Trump to press harder on his agenda of disruption and provocation."[62] In 2017, Pirro called for the arrest of individuals who cooperated with special counsel Robert S. Mueller III's investigation into Russian interference in the 2016 election in favor of Trump.[63][64] Pirro called for government agencies to be "cleansed" of critics of the president; she called for Deputy FBI Director Andrew McCabe and Peter Strzok to be arrested, and appeared to suggest that Mueller, former FBI director James B. Comey, and Associate Deputy Attorney General Bruce Ohr all be arrested as well.[63] Pirro's comments were part of a broader push by Trump's allies in the media to delegitimize the Mueller probe and other investigations into Trump and his administration.[63]

In February 2018, after two senior Trump administration officials resigned due to domestic abuse allegations, Pirro suggested that Barack Obama's policies were to blame for the two domestic abuse scandals.[65] In May 2018, Pirro said that Trump had "fulfilled" a "biblical prophecy" by moving the US embassy in Israel to Jerusalem.[66]

In June 2018, Pirro said Trump's pardon of conservative activist Dinesh D'Souza, who was convicted of "illegal campaign contributions" to a college friend, to whom he received support, was "fantastic news", as she believes D'Souza was singled out for prosecution for his politics by the FBI for having produced two political documentary movies: Hillary's America and Obama's America.[67] Later that month, Politico reported that Pirro had, since late 2016, repeatedly told the Trump administration about her interest in becoming the Attorney General.[59] On her show, Pirro had referred to Attorney General Jeff Sessions as "the most dangerous man in America."[59]

In July 2018, after Trump was widely criticized, including by numerous prominent conservatives, for refusing to condemn Russian interference in the 2016 election, because it would have gained little leeway, while standing on stage with Vladimir Putin in Helsinki, Pirro defended Trump.[68] Pirro said, "What was he supposed to do, take a gun out and shoot Putin?"[68]

That same month, Trump posed with Pirro and her new book, Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy, in the Oval Office.[69][70] That Trump would promote the book of a pro-Trump advocate raised questions[by whom?] about potential ethics violations.[71] Washington Post book critic Carlos Lozada described the book as a "sycophantic" and "gushing" pro-Trump book.[72] PolitiFact found that Pirro's assertion in the book that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein had announced in February 2018 that "the Russia collusion investigation is over" was false; Rosenstein never said it and the progression of the Russia probe since February 2018 demonstrated otherwise.[73]

In September 2018, while Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh faced scrutiny over sexual assault allegations, Pirro referred to the Democratic Party as "demon-rats".[74]

On January 12, 2019, while on Fox, Pirro took a call on-air from Trump in which he spoke for 20 minutes, claiming his former attorney Michael Cohen fabricated stories to reduce the length of his expected sentence. Trump conjectured Cohen said, "I have an idea, I'll give you some information on the president," and he continued, "Well, there is no information." "He should give information maybe on his father-in-law, because that's the one that people want to look at." Pirro asked the name of Cohen's father-in-law, but Trump replied, though regarding the affairs of a private citizen, "I don't know, but you'll find out, and you'll look into it because nobody knows what's going on over there." The father-in-law, Fima Shusterman, owned condos both at Trump Tower and another in a Trump development near Miami.[75]

In November 2019, she described Trump as "almost superhuman".[76] In December 2019, she suggested that Trump had made it possible for people to say "Merry Christmas" again.[77]

In February 2020, Pirro predicted that the impeachment of Donald Trump would be so unpopular that Democrats would lose their majority in the U.S. House of Representatives in the 2020 elections (which ultimately did not occur); Politico named Pirro's prediction one of "the most audacious, confident and spectacularly incorrect prognostications about the year".[78]

Health care

Describing her own political positions in 2005, Pirro said, "I'm Republican red on fiscal policy with conservative beliefs on making tax cuts permanent, but I've got broad blue stripes on the social issues," during her campaign for the US Senate in New York.[79] Her positions were described as politically moderate during her Senate run.[80] Pirro supported a woman's right to an abortion, including U.S. taxpayer funding of abortion through Medicaid, in 2005,[81] though she has been opposed to late-term abortions.[82][83]

LGBT rights

On the topic of LGBT rights, Pirro actively supported the passing of a New York hate crimes law which covered sexual orientation as a protected class in 2000. She was outspoken in her support for anti-discrimination protections for LGBT people during her 2006 campaign for State Attorney General. Pirro supported civil unions for same-sex couples.[84][85][86] She also received an endorsement from the Log Cabin Republicans.[87] She did not support same-sex marriage, however; Pirro opposed attempts to amend the Constitution in order to ban same-sex marriage, claiming: "Make no mistake, if it does become the law of this state, I will fight to defend it".[88] Also in 2006, she acknowledged she participated in a Pride Parade and in a Log Cabin Republicans political fundraising event.[89][90] Eight years later, she had William Owens, a representative of the National Organization for Marriage and opponent of same-sex marriage, to interview, on her program.[91] In November 2021, Pirro attended the Log Cabin Republicans' "Spirit of Lincoln Award" event.[92]


In 2014, Pirro called for the impeachment of Barack Obama over the 2012 Benghazi attack.[93]

Second Amendment

Of gun ownership, Pirro commented in December 2015:

Get a gun, buy one legally, learn how to shoot it and be primed to use it. And, I don't care if you get a long gun, a hand gun, a revolver or a semi automatic. Get whatever gun you can handle and don't let anyone talk you out of it. The Second Amendment of the Constitution and the United States Supreme Court confirm your right to have one.[94]

Personal life

Pirro has two children with her former spouse Albert.[3] Following their marriage, they moved to Harrison, New York, where Pirro began working as assistant district attorney and her husband began work as a lobbyist.[11] Later in their marriage, but before their children were born, Albert was accused of fathering a daughter by a Florida woman he termed as extortionate and mentally unstable.[17] After his denials and extensive court proceedings, DNA testing confirmed him as the father and he was ordered to begin child support payments in 1998.[95]

Following her tenure as D.A. and judge, Pirro returned to the private sector and began a new career as a TV personality and commentator. In 1997, People magazine named her one of its "50 Most Beautiful People".[96]

On February 23, 1999, Pirro's husband was indicted by the office of United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York on one count of conspiracy, four counts of tax evasion, and 28 counts of filing a false tax return for hiding over $1 million in personal income as business expenses between 1988 and 1997.[97] That day, Pirro appeared with her husband at a press conference in response to the charges, criticizing the investigation as "invasive and hostile." New York Governor George Pataki released a statement saying that the Pirros had been personal friends for "a long time," and that he and his wife "wished them well."[98][99] With the trial beginning on May 15, 2000,[100] and closing arguments given on June 19, 2000, the jury found Pirro's husband guilty on June 23, 2000, on 23 of the charges brought against him and not guilty of 10.[101] In November 2000, he was sentenced to 29 months in federal prison, but received some leniency in exchange for waiving his right to appeal.[102] He served 17 months in prison, being released early for good behavior and participating in an alcoholism treatment program.[95] In the midst of the trial, Jeanine Pirro had attacked the prosecution for bringing up matters which involved her, calling it a "desperate attempt by them to bring me into this wherever they can."[103] Albert Pirro was pardoned by President Donald Trump on January 20, 2021, shortly before Trump left office.[104]

As a result of their "tumultuous" relationship, Pirro and her husband separated in 2007,[105] with their divorce being finalized in 2013.[106][107]

In November 2017, Pirro was charged with speeding for driving 119 miles per hour in upstate New York.[106]

In July 2019, Pirro was named to the board of directors of the cannabis company HeavenlyRx, which manufactures CBD products.[108] Said Pirro: "My interest in CBD stems from a curiosity after hearing people say how much they benefited from CBD.... Initially a skeptic, I now understand there are tremendous benefits outside the assembly line of traditional medical and pharmaceutical dictates".[109]

Pirro revealed in her 2018 book, Liars, Leakers, and Liberals: The Case Against the Anti-Trump Conspiracy, that she was diagnosed with cancer in 2012.[110] She is a practicing Catholic.[111]


On February 4, 2021, Pirro was named in the complaint "Smartmatic Files $2.7 Billion Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox Corporation"[112] The complaint states that "Fox News’ disinformation campaign had a direct and harmful impact on Smartmatic's ability to conduct business in the United States and around the world".[112] Smartmatic claims that Fox News Network, Maria Bartiromo, Lou Dobbs, Jeanine Pirro, Rudy Giuliani and Sidney Powell were primary sources of false information which were repeated by other media outlets, journalists, bloggers and influencers the world over.[113] A New York State Supreme Court judge ruled in March 2022 that the suit against Fox News and others could proceed, though he dismissed allegations against Pirro.[114]

See also


  1. ^ Pirro's resignation left two vacancies at the 1993 general election; they were filled on a ballot where the top-two candidates were declared elected.


  1. ^ "Record Group 4: Judiciary" (PDF). Westchester County Archives Desk Reference. Archived (PDF) from the original on March 3, 2019. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  2. ^ a b c d Ellison, Sarah (June 23, 2019). "The Judge who Speaks Trump's Language". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on April 24, 2020. Jeanine Ferris, born in Elmira, N.Y., to Lebanese American parents, graduated in three years from Notre Dame High School.
  3. ^ a b Bandler, Jonathan (March 1, 2018). "Jeanine Pirro: Fox News force, conservative darling, Donald Trump pal [Sidebar The Pirro File]". The Journal News. Lower Hudson Valley, New York: Gannett. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  4. ^ Rutenberg, Jim (October 31, 2018). "You Don't Need to Go to the Dark Web to Find Hateful Conspiracy Theories". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 22, 2020. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  5. ^ Thebault, Reis (March 17, 2019). "Fox News bumps 'Judge Jeanine' after remarks about Rep. Omar's hijab. Trump wants her back on air". The Washington Post. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  6. ^ "Former District Attorneys". Westchester County: Office of the District Attorney. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved November 30, 2016.
  7. ^ a b Grynbaum, Michael M. (April 9, 2019). "The Rise and Fall and Rise of Jeanine Pirro of Fox News". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Archived from the original on November 7, 2020. Retrieved April 27, 2019. A daughter of Lebanese-American parents, Ms. Pirro was raised Catholic in blue-collar Elmira, N.Y.
  8. ^ Lieberman, Steve (April 26, 2019). "Fox News host Jeanine Pirro's mother, Esther Ferris, dies at the age of 90". The Journal News. Lower Hudson Valley, New York: Gannett. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  9. ^ Failla, Zak (April 27, 2019). "Esther Ferris, Mother Of Jeanine Pirro, Dies". White Plains Daily Voice. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  10. ^ Quattrini, Nick (April 25, 2019). "Judge Jeanine Pirro's mother passes away". WENY-TV. Retrieved December 15, 2020.
  11. ^ a b c d e Gray, Kevin (May 10, 1999). "Pirro Mania". New York. p. 3. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  12. ^ Golding, Bruce; O'Donnell, Noreen; Blain, Glenn (October 9, 2005). "Pirro's Second Act". The Journal News. Archived from the original on November 2, 2005. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  13. ^ "Jeanine Pirro". LinkedIn.
  14. ^ Depaulo, Lisa (May 9, 1999). "The D.A.'s Husband Trouble". The New York Times. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  15. ^ Leventhal, J. (November 3, 2010). "Richardson v. Richardson". New York State Law Reporting Bureau. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  16. ^ a b c d Schneider-Mayerson, Anna (August 22, 2005). "Pirro's Brief: D.A. Says She Remade Rules". The New York Observer. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  17. ^ a b c d She's a Politician. He Avoided Attention. Not Anymore, New York Times, Joseph Berger, April 17, 1997. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  18. ^ Chen, David W. (November 2, 2000). "Pirro Sentenced To 29 Months In U.S. Prison". The New York Times.
  19. ^ Mob Figure Admits Roles In Murders, Including Judge's New York Times August 14, 2004, Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  20. ^ Melvin, Tessa (October 28, 1990). "Six Judicial Seats Are on Nov. 6 Ballot". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  21. ^ Blain, Glenn (May 23, 2005). "Jeanine Pirro will not seek re-election as county DA". The Journal News. Archived from the original on May 25, 2005. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  22. ^ Gray, Kevin. "Pirro Mania". New York. p. 4. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  23. ^ Gray, Kevin. "Pirro Mania". New York. p. 5. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  24. ^ "Judge Jeanine Pirro". Fox News Insider. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  25. ^ Schapiro, Rich (September 25, 2008). "Pull Pirro show for my jail hell". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 16, 2017.
  26. ^ Balko, Radley (October 24, 2014). "Jeff Deskovic, wrongly convicted of rape and murder, awarded $41.6 million in damages". The Washington Post. Retrieved February 19, 2019.
  27. ^ Lynn, Frank (May 27, 1986). "A Prosecutor Is Picked To Run With O'Rourke". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014.
  28. ^ a b Lynn, Frank (May 29, 1986). "Surprise G.O.P. Candidate Leaves Race". The New York Times. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014.
  29. ^ Gray, Kevin. "Pirro Mania". New York. p. 2.
  30. ^ "Media Tip: How to Recover From a Brain Freeze". Political Wire. December 31, 2012. Archived from the original on January 22, 2013. Retrieved December 31, 2012.
  31. ^ "". Democrat and Chronicle. August 12, 2005. Archived from the original on August 28, 2006. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  32. ^ Hernandez, Raymond; Cooper, Michael (October 15, 2005). "Pirro's Path to Republican Nomination Is Clearer, but Obstacles Remain". The New York Times. Archived from the original on June 17, 2013.
  33. ^ Smith, Greg B. (May 9, 2005). "'My Own Woman' Pirro defends her record in an explosive interview W'Chester DA Shouts: 'I'm Not Here To Talk About My Husband!'". Daily News. New York City. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014.
  34. ^ "Statement From Jeanine Pirro". The New York Times. December 21, 2005. Archived from the original on January 7, 2021. Retrieved January 7, 2021.
  35. ^ "Spencer Wins Senate Nod, Pirro Accepts AG Spot At GOP Convention". NY1. May 31, 2006. Archived from the original on July 7, 2014. Retrieved December 23, 2010.
  36. ^ Markay, Lachlan (November 23, 2018). "Judge Jeanine Ghosted on Old Campaign Debt and Ignored Feds' Demands for Financial Records". The Daily Beast. Retrieved November 23, 2018.
  37. ^ Markay, Lachlan (February 22, 2019). "Judge Jeanine Pirro Stiffs Campaign Vendors Out of Nearly $600K". The Daily Beast. Retrieved February 22, 2019.
  38. ^ "Regional & NY State News". Newsday. Archived from the original on March 6, 2021. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  39. ^ "Attorney General Election Returns" (PDF). NYS Board of Elections. November 7, 2006. Archived from the original (PDF) on November 5, 2013. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  40. ^ Don't Lie to Me: and Stop Trying to Steal Our Freedom,, September 22, 2020. Retrieved March 8, 2021.
  41. ^ a b Connelly, Sherryl (July 23, 2012). "TV judge Jeanine Pirro publishes her first novel, 'Sly Fox,' using some of her own history as inspiration". New York Daily News. Archived from the original on April 23, 2014.
  42. ^ Porter, Rick (May 1, 2017). "'You the Jury' found guilty of weak ratings and canceled at FOX". TV by the Numbers. Archived from the original on May 1, 2017. Retrieved May 2, 2017.
  43. ^ "Former NY DA Pirro gets TV show". New York Daily News. Associated Press. May 5, 2008. Archived from the original on July 3, 2014. Retrieved July 3, 2014.
  44. ^ Albiniak, Paige (February 9, 2009). "'Pirro' Preps for Fall Launch". Broadcasting & Cable. Archived from the original on September 25, 2012. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  45. ^ a b Greenberg, Jon (June 19, 2014). "Fox's Pirro: Obama set ISIS leader free in 2009". PolitiFact. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  46. ^ a b "Judge Jeanine Pirro's show did not air over comments on Ilhan Omar?". The Jerusalem Post. March 28, 2019. Retrieved March 4, 2020.
  47. ^ a b Forgey, Quint (March 10, 2019). "Fox News denounces Pirro comments on Omar". Politico. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  48. ^ "Fox News' Pirro says Rep. Omar's hijab could signal views 'antithetical' to Constitution". USA Today. March 10, 2019. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  49. ^ Goldman, David (March 10, 2019). "Fox News rebukes Jeanine Pirro after she questioned Ilhan Omar's hijab". CNN Business. Retrieved March 11, 2019.
  50. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (March 16, 2019). "Jeanine Pirro's Show Is Bumped by Fox, to the President's Chagrin". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  51. ^ Stelter, Brian (March 17, 2019). "Trump tells Fox to 'bring back' Jeanine Pirro; source says she was suspended for Islamophobic remarks". CNN. Retrieved March 18, 2019.
  52. ^ Richardson, Valerie (March 31, 2019). "'Crusader for justice': Jeanine Pirro returns to Fox News after absence over Ilhan Omar flap". The Washington Times. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  53. ^ Geier, Thom (March 29, 2020). "Judge Jeanine Pirro Appears Disheveled and Tipsy After Fox News Show Delayed for 'Technical Difficulties'". TheWrap. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  54. ^[bare URL PDF]
  55. ^ Barr, Jeremy. "Lou Dobbs debunks his own claims of election fraud — after a legal demand from Smartmatic" – via
  56. ^ "Maria Bartiromo Airs Fact-Check, Adds 'We Will Keep Investigating'". December 20, 2020.
  57. ^ Ellefson, Lindsey (January 12, 2022). "Fox News' 'The Five' Brings on Jeanine Pirro as Permanent Co-Host as Saturday Show Ends". TheWrap. Retrieved January 12, 2022.
  58. ^ "Judge Jeanine: I Still Support Donald Trump". Fox Nation. October 9, 2016. Archived from the original on December 2, 2016. Retrieved December 2, 2016.
  59. ^ a b c d Johnson, Eliana; Restuccia, Andrew (June 7, 2018). "Trump dangled administration job to Judge Jeanine". Politico. Retrieved June 8, 2018.
  60. ^ a b Dawsey, Josh (April 5, 2018). "Trump's must-see TV: Judge Jeanine's show and her positive take on the president". The Washington Post. ISSN 0190-8286. Retrieved April 6, 2018.
  61. ^ Johnson, Eliana (February 27, 2019). "On 'Hannity,' Trump's summits are a smashing success". Politico. Retrieved March 1, 2019.
  62. ^ Sarah Ellison, The Judge Who Speaks Trump's Language: On the show that never ends, Jeanine Pirro is the defender who's always on offense, Washington Post (June 23, 2019).
  63. ^ a b c Blake, Aaron (December 11, 2017). "Analysis - The Trump-inspired mess that could result from Robert Mueller finding Trump broke the law". The Washington Post. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  64. ^ Grynbaum, Michael M. (December 22, 2017). "Jeanine Pirro of Fox News Helps an Old Friend: President Trump". The New York Times. Retrieved December 23, 2017.
  65. ^ "Fox News Host Blames Barack Obama for Domestic Abuse Scandals in Trump's White House". Haaretz. February 11, 2018. Retrieved July 22, 2018.
  66. ^ Folley, Aris (May 14, 2018). "Jeanine Pirro says Trump 'fulfilled' a 'biblical prophecy' by moving US Embassy to Jerusalem". TheHill. Retrieved May 15, 2018.
  67. ^ Collins, Kaitlan; Vazquez, Maegan; Jarrett, Laura (May 31, 2018). "Trump pardons Dinesh D'Souza -- and hints at more celebrity pardons". CNN. Retrieved June 4, 2018.
  68. ^ a b Wise, Justin (July 17, 2018). "Jeanine Pirro defends Trump: Was he supposed to shoot Putin?". The Hill. Retrieved July 24, 2018.
  69. ^ Thomsen, Jacqueline (July 24, 2018). "Trump promotes Jeanine Pirro's new book in Oval Office". The Hill. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  70. ^ Jordan, Tina (July 27, 2018). "'We Couldn't Have Colluded to Order a Cheeseburger'". The New York Times. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  71. ^ Blumberg, Antonia (July 25, 2018). "In The Oval Office, Trump Poses With Fox News' Jeanine Pirro -- And The Book She's Selling". The Huffington Post. Retrieved July 26, 2018.
  72. ^ Lozada, Carlos (August 15, 2018). "I read six sycophantic pro-Trump books — and then I read Omarosa". The Washington Post. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  73. ^ Kruzel, John (July 25, 2018). "Jeanine Pirro book falsely declares the Russia probe over". Politifact. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  74. ^ Lynch, John (September 24, 2018). "John Oliver blasted Trump and Fox News for defending Kavanaugh amid sexual assault allegations". Business Insider. Retrieved September 30, 2018.
  75. ^ Gualtieri, Allison Elyse (January 12, 2019). "Who is Michael Cohen's father-in-law? Trump says he should be investigated". Washington Examiner. Retrieved January 24, 2019.
  76. ^ "White House defends Trump's surprise medical exam amid skepticism online". NBC News. Retrieved November 22, 2019.
  77. ^ Holmes, Jack (December 16, 2019). "Eric and Lara Trump Declare Victory in the War on Christmas: You're Once Again Free to Put Up a Christmas Tree". Esquire. Retrieved December 20, 2019.
  78. ^ Stanton, Zack (December 29, 2020). "The Worst Predictions of 2020". Politico. Retrieved December 30, 2020.
  79. ^ Healy, Patrick D. (August 10, 2005). "Pirro Begins Her Senate Campaign by Assailing Clinton". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  80. ^ Healy, Patrick D.; Times, New York (August 9, 2005). "D.A. announces bid to unseat Clinton in 2006 Senate contest". SFGate. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  81. ^ Morris, Dick (June 22, 2005). "Helping Hillary now will hurt the Republicans later". The Hill. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  82. ^ Fearnow, Benjamin (February 3, 2019). "Jeanine Pirro compared Northam to Auschwitz Dr. Josef Mengele, cautioned U.S. 'legalizing infanticide'". Newsweek. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  83. ^ Healy, Patrick D. (August 10, 2005). "Clinton's Challenger Says She Opposes Late-Term Abortion". The New York Times. ISSN 0362-4331. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  84. ^ "DA Pirro's challenge spells headache for Hillary". The Daily Courier. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  85. ^ Nichols, John (August 9, 2005). "Hillary Clinton Lucks Out". The Nation. ISSN 0027-8378. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  86. ^ Morris, Dick (September 21, 2005). "New York voters won't fall for Hillary's dodge". TheHill. Retrieved October 13, 2019.
  87. ^ "But Pirro Soldiered On". September 28, 2006. Retrieved February 15, 2021.
  88. ^ Osborne, Duncan (October 4, 2006). "Despite Troubles, Pirro Soldiers On". Gay City News.
  89. ^ "But Pirro Soldiered On". Observer. September 28, 2006. Retrieved April 29, 2022.
  90. ^ Osborne, Duncan (October 4, 2006). "Despite Troubles, Pirro Soldiers On – Gay City News". Retrieved May 6, 2022.
  91. ^ "How not to hold a commentator accountable starring Fox News' Jeanine Pirro". GLAAD. March 11, 2014.
  92. ^ "Log Cabin Republicans". Log Cabin Republicans. Retrieved April 24, 2022.
  93. ^ Weigel, David (May 5, 2014). "Republicans Want to Impeach President Obama—Without Looking Crazy". Slate Magazine. Retrieved May 30, 2019.
  94. ^ Bumiller, Elisabeth (January 28, 1999). "Public Lives - In High-Profile Race of Maybes, Add Pirro". The New York Times. Retrieved April 10, 2016.
  95. ^ a b Now "grand" paternity woe for Pirro, New York Post, Joe Mcgurk, September 18, 2002. Retrieved December 18, 2019.
  96. ^ Gray, Kevin (May 10, 1999). "Pirro Mania". New York. p. 1. Retrieved January 5, 2011.
  97. ^ Smith, Greg B. (May 15, 2000). "Two Rising Stars In A Free Fall: W'chester DA's hubby is on trial tomorrow". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  98. ^ Depaulo, Lisa (May 9, 1999). "The DA's Husband Trouble". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  99. ^ Bernstein, Andrea (March 15, 1999). "Rising Power Couple With Ties To Pataki Takes A Sudden Fall". The New York Observer. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  100. ^ Smith, Greg (May 29, 2000). "Feds Shine Spotlight On Pirro In Hubby's Trial". New York Daily News. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  101. ^ Chen, David W. (June 23, 2000). "Federal Jury Convicts Pirro On All Tax-Fraud Charges". The New York Times. Retrieved July 11, 2016.
  102. ^ Chen, David W. (November 2, 2000). "Pirro Sentenced to 29 Months in U.S. Prison". The New York Times. Archived from the original on November 9, 2017. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  103. ^ Worth, Robert (May 28, 2000). "The Law; A New Role for Jeanine Pirro". The New York Times. Retrieved December 12, 2017.
  104. ^ Din, Benjamin (January 20, 2021). "Trump issues last-minute pardon to Albert Pirro, ex-husband of Jeanine Pirro". Politico. Retrieved January 20, 2021.
  105. ^ "Jeanine Pirro and husband end tumultuous marriage". New York Daily News. Associated Press. November 17, 2007. Retrieved August 12, 2018.
  106. ^ a b Lovett, Kenneth (November 20, 2017). "Fox News host Jeanine Pirro hit with speeding charges after cops clock her driving 119 mph upstate". New York Daily News. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  107. ^ David, Mark (June 13, 2016). "Fox News Legal Analyst Jeanine Pirro Re-Lists Rye Mansion". Variety. Retrieved April 4, 2019.
  108. ^ "SOL Global Founded Portfolio Company HeavenlyRx Announces The Appointment Of Judge Jeanine Pirro, Top Rated Weekend News Host and NY Times Best-Selling Author, To Its Board of Directors" (Press release). Toronto: PR Newswire. July 31, 2019. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  109. ^ Jaeger, Kyle (July 31, 2019). "Judge Jeanine Pirro, A Trump Fox News Favorite, Joins Cannabis Company Board". Marijuana Moment. Retrieved August 5, 2019.
  110. ^ "Judge Jeanine: I Had Cancer, and Russia Uranium Deal Threatens Cancer Diagnosis Technology". Fox News. November 5, 2017. Retrieved August 11, 2018.
  111. ^ Pirro, Jeanine; Whitney, Catherine (June 16, 2015). To Punish and Protect: Against a System That Coddles Criminals. St. Martin's Press. p. 118. ISBN 978-1-25008-794-2.
  112. ^ a b "Smartmatic Files $2.7 Billion Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox Corporation". Smartmatic. February 4, 2021. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  113. ^ "FAQ – Defamation Lawsuit Against Fox Corporation". Smartmatic. Retrieved February 8, 2021.
  114. ^ Stempel, Jonathan (March 8, 2022). "Smartmatic can pursue election-rigging claims against Fox News, Giuliani". Reuters.

External links

Party political offices
Preceded by Republican nominee for Attorney General of New York
Succeeded by