M.J. vs. Bubba the Love Sponge: Todd 'M.J.' Schnitt tears up during defamation trial

5:45 PM, Jan 23, 2013   |    comments
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Video: M.J. tears up during defamation trial

Todd "M.J." Schnitt takes the stand during a defamation lawsuit against Bubba the Love Sponge Clem


Tampa, Florida - It's a good thing radio personality Todd "M.J." Schnitt is used to talking, because on Wednesday at the Hillsborough Courthouse, he was on the stand all day.

Through much of the morning, Schnitt outlined how fans of Bubba the Love Sponge Clem -- also known as Bubba's Army --harassed him when he was out in public.

Schnitt says one incident even had him fearing for his life, when a car veered toward him on the Courtney Campbell Causeway.

"I couldn't believe it," Schnitt told the jury. "Sixty miles an hour and a man is hanging out the window, his whole torso is out the window of the car and he's screaming."

Schnitt is suing Clem for making "false, highly offensive and defamatory statements" about him and his wife Michelle.

Schnitt contends Clem, his radio rival, encouraged his listeners to make Schnitt's life miserable. Schnitt says he was forced to change his lifestyle; he tried to shield his kids, cut back on his own public appearances, and increased security at his house.

And on Wednesday, a teary-eyed Schnitt turned toward the jury and asked them to side with him and Michelle and award monetary damages. 

"To clear our good names, restore our reputation and prevent Mr. Clem from doing this to anybody else in the future," Schnitt said.

But Bubba's legal team argues that Schnitt and Michelle were fair game for any taunting, because both are public figures.

On cross-examination, Bubba's attorney Greg Hearing emphasized how Schnitt opened up his personal life on his own radio show. He played an audio clip where Schnitt and Michelle argued over having more children.

And Hearing also hammered home that Clem may have badmouthed Schnitt, but that's as far as it went.

"Did you ever hear Mr. Clem say on-air that he wanted people to physically 'touch' you or 'harm' you -- those words?" Hearing asked Schnitt, who finally replied, "No."

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