Shock Jock Trial Continues, Bubba Says He'll Take The Stand Today
TAMPA, FL. -- The expected three-week long defamation of character trial between Tampa area DJs Todd "MJ" Schnitt and Bubba "The Love Sponge" Clem continues today with opening statements.
On Clems's radio show this morning he continued ranting about "multi-millionaires who send their kids to private schools and whose wife doesn't work" pointing to Schnitt, suing Clem for defamation in a Tampa 13th Judicial Circuit courtroom.
Clem says Schnitt is suing for millions of dollars while Schnitt lives in a "nearly 10,000 square foot home." Clem continued this morning apologizing to the court and jurors for wasting their time on what he calls a frivolous lawsuit.
Bubba "The Love Sponge" is accused by Schnitt, known on the radio as "MJ" for making defamatory remarks against himself and his wife Michelle Schnitt, a former assistant State's Attorney who worked in Palm Beach County.
Circuit Judge James D. Arnold is presiding over the courtroom as the allegations of defamation and threats are given air with dozens of witnesses on both sides and promised testimony from Clem, who told radio listeners he would take the stand today.
The dispute started around 2008 Schnitt says as Bubba Clem, among other allegations called MJ's wife Michelle Schnitt a "whore" and described MJ as a "midget." Schnitt claims he and his wife have been personally and professionally damaged by Clem's on-air comments.
On his morning show where he appeared live from 6 a.m. to 7:30 a.m. today, Clem claims the trial is "frivolous" and a waste of time and money and apologized to the jury pool members for spending time in the courtroom on this case.
Clem said Schmitt is a multi-millionaire, who makes much more money that he does, just had his "feelings hurt." He claims Schmitt and his wife are public figures and therefore can be parodied and made fun of on the radio.
In 2007, the FCC levied what amounts to a $755,000 fine against four Clear Channel radio stations that carried the Bubba The Love Sponge Show for allegedly including graphic discussions about sex and drugs, that according to the FCC were "designed to pander to, titillate and shock listeners"
At the time of Schmitt's allegations against Clem, both were Tampa Bay morning show DJs; Schnitt, formerly known as MJ Kelli, broadcast on WFLZ 93.3 and Clem on WHPT 102.5. Schnitt now has a syndicated afternoon conservative talk radio show heard on 970 AM in Tampa and dozens of affiliates around the country, while Clem continues his syndicated morning show, heard in Fort Myers on WRXK 96.1 and other affiliates.