Popular television Judge Lynn Toler, 63, sadly announced that her longtime love and husband, Eric Mumford, died suddenly at age 71.
The Divorce Court judge shared the news on her Instagram account on January 4. With Anita Baker’s “Sweet Love” playing in the background of the IG reel, she captioned the post, “Beautiful Man. Both inside and out. Eric Mumford ‘Big E’.January 1, 1951 – December 23, 2022. I am in a million pieces.”
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Toler’s 71-year-old husband’s cause of death hasn’t been revealed, but fans and celebrities immediately showed the judge love and support.
“Sending you love, my sister🙏🏽,” MC Lyte wrote.
Actress Viola Davis also sent her condolences, writing, “Sending you love, my sister🙏🏽.”
“Judge Lynn!! I am so, so sorry for your loss. I know what he meant to you — Sending all the love and strength to you and the family. We’re all here for you. 🙏🏼❤️,” Nick Barrotta penned.
A fan, Scorpionic Scorpie, wrote, “May God continue to be with you and your family always and forever. You are the true definition of a strong Black woman, warrior and queen. Please take all the time you need to be simply human. One day at a time… step by step…. ALLOW GOD TO CARRY YOU. May God continue to cover you in the blood of Jesus. Love you, QUEEN!!!”
Toler and Mumford married in 1989. The two had two children together, and “Big E” had four children from a previous marriage.
In 2017, the popular television judge penned a poignant essay discussing the intricacies of her marriage to Mumford and how the show saved her union.
“As the judge on ‘Divorce Court,’ I am familiar with, if not inundated by, the thematic mistakes made in marriages. Yes, I know the show is a bit extreme, voyeuristic, and, well, often a little silly, but when my husband and I were staring into the marital abyss, I learned a valuable lesson from ‘Divorce Court’ that helped me out at home.”
She continued, “By year 19, my husband, Big E, and I were off the road and deep in the weeds. Barely speaking, when one of us walked in a room, the other would walk out. He was angry and unhappy, and he saw me as the source of both. I, on the other hand, saw him as a jerk, a man who cared nothing for my needs. Of course, as I eventually learned at work, we were both wrong. It was, instead, that unexamined need thing that had taken us off the road.
Having become a father at 19, my husband married his first wife and had four children by the time he was 26. As a result, he never got to do as he pleased because he did so much for others. When he looked at me, he saw new and unencumbered. He saw me as the first installment in a lot of choices he was owed.”
“I, on the other hand, was raised in a house that rocked and rolled on the rhythm of whatever was wrong with Dad. Daddy was a brilliant, principled man who loved his family. He was also bipolar. Stuff was jumping off at my house all of the time, and you never knew when or why. When I looked at Big E, I saw stable, safe, and secure.”
Toler explained that their differences brought them together initially, but they would eventually cause a strain in their marriage.
“Once we married, however, every time E didn’t get his way, it was another drop in a bucket of sacrifices that was already full. He took everything else off the table by being willing to give me the children I sought- which, when you think about it, is huge. Any desire I had that didn’t match his– got me a little static. That would all have been well and good– had I responded correctly. Though E was just ordinary, every day annoyed about things, I didn’t see it that way. Even the mildest objection he raised prompted that voice in the back of my head to say, ‘Shut it down; it could go bad.’ So instead of engaging in any meaningful exchange, I capitulated, repeatedly.”
She eventually expressed that she began to approach her marriage to Mumford as she did her litigants on Divorce Court, and it brought a new understanding to the wise woman.
Toler shared a touching tribute to her husband on Father’s Day, writing, “Happy Father’s Day! This is The Man. He’s in the middle of what I call The Center Cut. Me, him, and Sons 2,3,4, and 5. Son1 was already out of the house. Son 6 was yet to be born. I was hanging with Son5 of 6 in Miami just yesterday. Now, me and Son 2 of 6 are in DC. They got me covered, and they learned from the best. #Love you, BigE! To the moon and back.”
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Our condolences and prayers go out to the judge and her family.