MJ vs. Bubba the Love Sponge trial: Jury deliberations begin

3:34 PM, Jan 30, 2013   |    comments
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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.


 PDF Document: bubba verdict form

Tampa, Florida -- Lawyers on both sides of the shock jock trial have given their closing arguments, and now the case is in the hands of the jury.

After more than two weeks of testimony, the defamation trial between radio hosts Todd "MJ" Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge Clem has entered its final showdown.

Each side rested its case Tuesday and on Wednesday morning were given 90 minutes each to address the jury.

Schnitt's attorneys told jurors Wednesday that Clem defamed Schnitt "out of sheer hatred." Clem's lawyer countered by saying that "context is everything."

Read: The jury's verdict form in the MJ vs. Bubba trial (PDF)

After a brief lunch break, the judge instructed the jury of their duties and allowed them to begin their deliberations.

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... therefore they're protected by the First Amendment.

With deliberations now under way, the alternate jurors have been dismissed and are free to talk about the trial.

One alternate juror, Alana Wilshire of Apollo Beach, was unconvinced of MJ's arguments of defamation.

WATCH: Alternate juror talks about MJ vs. Bubba case

"I think anybody that runs and cries and hides in their house because someone called them a name needs to grow up, [and] to develop thicker skin... especially if  you're in the public eye," Wilshire told 10 News.  

Wilshire added that the jury was a diverse mix of people, and was not sure if they'd agree with her conclusion.

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