MJ vs. Bubba the Love Sponge verdict: MJ loses defamation lawsuit to Bubba
(WTSP.COM) TAMPA, Florida – A jury has sided with Bubba the Love Sponge Clem in the defamation trial between two Tampa-based radio shock jocks.
Jurors found comments Clem made on-air about his radio rival Todd “MJ” Schnitt and Schnitt’s wife Michelle did not defame them and no financial damages were awarded.
Attorneys for Schnitt told jurors Wednesday that Clem defamed Schnitt “out of sheer hatred.” Clem’s lawyer countered by saying that “context is everything.”
The jury deliberated for about three hours on whether Clem’s on-air statements about Schnitt and his wife, Michelle, were injurious before coming back with a not guilty verdict on all 24 counts.
Schnitt filed the suit, claiming Clem and his Bubba Radio Network defamed the Schnitts and incited Clem’s fans, known as the “Bubba Army,” to harass the family.
Clem testified that the statements outlined in Schnitt’s lawsuit were opinion, hyperbole, satire and directed toward a public figure, and therefore protected by the First Amendment.
The judge had previously dismissed five charges against Clem in the case.
The Associated Press contributed to this report.