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Hello. It’s me, Judge Lori Kaufman. I am writing this opening statement in the unlikely event that Beyonce and Jay-Z get a divorce and I, in my capacity as Judge, am assigned to preside over the hearing. Yes, in addition to being a Judge for over 30 years, I am a huge fan of both Queen B and Hova. And while my being assigned to this case would certainly be a conflict of interest, I’m writing this anyway, just so that I can be as prepared as possible in the event this terrible scenario comes to pass.

To that end, this is my prepared statement:


Beyonce (nod at Beyonce), Jay-Z (nod at Jay-Z), it is a right of the consenting adult citizens of this country to enter into the contract of marriage with the person of their choice. And of course, an essential corollary to the right to marry is the right to divorce.

United States law requires that one must submit a grounds for divorce. I see here that on the divorce papers filed you have listed “irreconcilable differences” as your grounds.

I refuse to accept that.

While I believe it is demonstrable in a court of law that you do have differences, I believe that in the eyes of the United States legal system, not to mention in the eyes of God Almighty, those differences are reconcilable. They are the differences of peanut butter and jelly; yes, different in chemical composition, but each a categorically amazing substance that when together is even better. Jay, it’s possible that lately you’ve been feeling that you aren’t ready for Beyonce’s jelly. But that is only because sometimes in the normal stresses of marriage we can forget how bootylicious our partner can be.

The nature of the undeniable power of your love is self-evident. When I saw you both perform at your co-headlining On The Run tour earlier this summer at MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford, New Jersey, the chemistry was palpable, even from where I sat in the third deck level, section 317, row FF, seat 21. I ask you this: if your love was not still real, then how would it even be possible for you to go straight from a stirring rendition of “Love On Top” that left the crowd shaking, straight into the most powerful performance of “Izzo” I’ve seen in the decade you’ve been performing it live? And, not only that, but to end the entire magical evening with a triple-encore performance which culminated in a tear-inducing duet of “Lift Off”? Those are not the actions of a couple with irreconcilable differences; those are the actions of a power couple, the greatest power couple the world has ever seen.

If I may risk hyperbole for a moment, I say to you that my allowing this divorce to take place would be a crime worse than treason. Because while “treason” is an act of betraying one’s country, allowing Bey and Jiggaman to split would be betraying the entire world. If I were an angel, I would take you on an It’s A Wonderful Life style journey of how much bleaker the world would be if you two weren’t married. I imagine my angel powers would be able to show you a world where wild dogs chased unbathed children while mothers cowered in corners pulling their hair out and fathers sat cross-legged and wide-mouthed watching televisions showing nothing but static, nobody able to make sense of a world where the one couple which made any sense at all had split up, the existential dread of your divorce crippling the feeble minds of we mere mortals who follow your every mood and move. That’s what my angel powers would show you. But I am not an angel. I am just a judge. A judge who loves great pop songs and hip hop.

Jay Z, has your list of problems really grown so great that you can’t work this out? I was never really quite sure what you meant when you said that you had 99 problems but a bitch wasn’t one. Did that mean, like, you didn’t have to worry about finding girls? Or, like, as a black man living in the United States the daily institutional racism you faced growing up was far worse than the relatively paltry issues of relationship squabbles? Whatever it was you meant, I promise you this: you may have 99 problems, but a Beyonce ain’t one.

And Beyonce, you are a Goddess. Do you really want to lower yourself to the mortal realm of all the other single ladies and join the list of female megastars who break up with their celebrity partners just to go on to date one of their back-up dancers? Sure, Sergio has great moves and manages to stay in sync with you without overshadowing your sexiness (as if anyone could!), but is he really the sort of father figure you want for Blue Ivy? And I of course by no way mean to insinuate that you are defined by your partner or that as a woman your value is in anyway derived from who you are with romantically. But also, seriously, who the hell else are you going to marry? The only other person on Earth who can pull off releasing a visual album is Weird Al, and no disrespect to Weird Al, but I don’t see that happening. If it did, yes, I would go to your co-headlining stadium tour next summer, and maybe you could even call it “On The Pun,” but you and I both know it’s not going to happen. You’re Queen B.

Look at this: (lift up Judge’s gown to reveal t-shirt with print of Jay-Z smoking cigar). Big pimpin’, Jay. This is what I was wearing before I knew I was going to be seeing both of you today. And look at this: (pull back sleeve to show forearm length tattoo of Beyonce from “Single Ladies”). When I flex, I can make you dance, B. What I’m getting at is, like your other billions of fans worldwide, I need this marriage to work out. Okay? I need this. Don’t do this to me. Don’t do this to us (gesture wildly around room, indicating rest of the world; cry for a few minutes; regain composure).

I conclude with this question: would you rather be crazy in love or crazy in the prolonged legal proceedings of modern divorce, which are particularly expensive and time-consuming when children, significant assets, and a lack of a prenuptial agreement (really???) are involved?

Irreconcilable differences? Uh oh, uh oh, uh oh, oh no no.

Oh no no.

-Judge Lori Kaufman

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