Jury slections began Monday in the civil trial of Todd ‘MJ’ Schnitt vs. ‘Bubba the Love Sponge’ Clem. Schnitt is suing for false and defamatory comments made by Bubba.
The suit was originally filed in 2008.
Jury selection began in a civil defamation trial involving two of the Tampa Bay area's most well-known radio personalities, Bubba the Love Sponge Clem and Todd "MJ" Schnitt. Already, it appears it will be a long, drawn-out affair, just like the lawsuit itself has been.
ABC Action News in Tampa reports when potential jurors finally came into the courtroom at around 11:00 a.m., it was soon clear it was going to take a while to seat a jury.
The first issue on hand, the length of the trial itself. Those involved in the case expect the case could run 3 weeks. Why? the number of potential witnesses. The Schnitt team could call upwards of 70, and Bubba's team could bring in over 90.
So of the first group of 70 potential jurors, 41 were dismissed, with the remain 29 asked to come back for further questioning tomorrow.
The roots of the case go back to another court case involving Bubba. He stood trial for animal abuse surrounding a radio stunt in which he killed a wild pig.
Many have reported that Bubba believed that Shnitt's wife, Michelle, who worked at the State Attorney's Office at the time, help bring that case to a head. And so Bubba made it his goal to go after Schnitt, who was working mornings at WFLS 93.3 FM, and to bury him in the ratings, allowing Bubba to become the number one morning jock in the bay area.
The Schnitt camp claims Bubba the Love Sponge Clem went too far with that effort, actually launching personal attacks against "MJ" and his wife, Michelle, referring to her in very unflattering terms.
Bubba's team maintains both Schnitts are public personalities and thus, fair game when it comes to broadcasting parodies or gags. In that, basically whatever was done, was just radio shtick.
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