Todd "M.J." Schnitt (left) and Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem (right) appear in a Hillsborough courtroom. Schnitt has filed a defamation lawsuit, saying Clem made offensive comments about him and his wife.
TAMPA, Florida - Now that the defamation trial against radio shock jock Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem is over, resulting in a not guilty verdict, his attorneys say they are now looking into going after Todd "MJ Kelli" Schnitt for attorney fees.
"We'll have to tabulate all our hours and figure out what the bills are," said Clem attorney Joseph Diaco Jr.
He made the statement moments after the jury found that Bubba did not maliciously defame "MJ" during a radio rivalry that played out over the airwaves for years.
"None of it was malice ... none of it was intended to hurt. It was classic radio war," said Clem outside the courtroom after the Wednesday afternoon verdict.
Schnitt was seeking $18,000 in damages, money used to pay for a security system at his home after it was egged and a note was found attributing the attack to a member of the "Bubba Army."
The verdict was no surprise to a Bay area nurse, who was also an alternate jury member during the trial until being excused before deliberation began.
"I think anybody that runs and cries and hides in their house because somebody called them a name kind of needs to grow up. You know, develop a thinker skin, especially if you're in the public eye," said Alana Wilshire.
Clem argued his harsh criticism of MJ was a case of two radio rivals at war and that it was meant as satire and free speech.
"It's not only a victory for the first amendment, it's a victory for the civil court system," said Daico.
Todd "MJ Kelli" Schnitt was not seen after court, but he did release a statement on his Twitter page that read:
"This was never a 1st Amendment case. I love our Constitution. The 1st doesn't allow you to lie and make false and defamatory statements."
Meanwhile, Bubba used his time in front of the press to get back into shock mode by targeting "MJ" in one parting shot.
"We're going to hang MJ in effigy. We're going to hang a casket out there. The whole nine yards, with his pubic frobonic, and we're going to get after him. I've only just begun," said Bubba.
Schnitt's attorney, Phil Campbell, has not said whether he will file an appeal.
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