TAMPA — Six jurors and four alternates were chosen Tuesday evening for the civil trial of Bubba the Love Sponge, accused of defaming his longtime morning radio rival, Todd "MJ" Schnitt.
A jury was selected from a pool of 48 after they were asked all day how they felt about bullying, about damage to reputations and about famous media feuds, including that of Jay Leno and David Letterman.
The selection came to a confusing end after both sides first accepted the panel, then the Schnitts' lawyers asked to reconsider. Clem's attorneys cried foul and called for a mistrial. The judge declared the selection final and swore in the jurors.
The Schnitts filed their lawsuit in 2008, accusing Clem of "false, highly offensive and defamatory statements" about them as competition heated up between the two DJs on morning radio.
On Cox Radio's WHPT-FM (102.5), Clem targeted Schnitt, the then-top-rated morning guy on his MJ Morning Show at WFLZ-AM (93.3) in what lawyers called a "radio war" for ratings. Clem called Schnitt, among other things, "a lying piece of crap." He called Schnitt's wife a "whore."
Cox was originally sued as well but agreed to a confidential settlement with the Schnitts on Friday.