MJ fires back at reporter Melanie Michael live | News
Tampa, Florida - It was considered the big "get" by local media on Thursday - finding MJ, also known as Todd Schnitt.
Both print and television crews were scrambling all over Tampa trying to find the evasive, longtime radio host heard in syndication all over the country.
It was the day after one of the biggest verdicts in Tampa Bay trial history - MJ versus Bubba.
MJ filed a defamation lawsuit against rival radio host, nationally syndicated Bubba the Love Sponge Clem. After nearly three weeks of a grueling and drama-filled trial in Hillsborough County court, a verdict came down late Wednesday afternoon.
MJ and his attorneys were looking for damages of $18,000 to pay for their South Tampa home security system that they claimed they needed to protect themselves against the "Bubba Army," a large group of loyal listeners.
In addition, Schnitt said he was looking for additional damages that the jury might have awarded. In fact, he begged jurors for monetary damages in court, asking the men and women for compensation to make up for his "humiliation over the years."
Instead, he got nothing. Jurors didn't buy his story at all. One called MJ a "cry-baby." One even told MJ to "put his big girl panties on and get over it."
After the bombshell Bubba verdict, MJ left through a back door, refusing to speak with reporters at all.
Starting Thursday morning, 10 News reached out in a variety of ways - Twitter, email and by phone. Reporters scoured the city. Finally, halfway through the day, MJ tweeted an invitation to all local credentialed media. He invited all reporters and photographers to a live news conference on The Schnitt Show on WFLA-970am.
In attendance were all local affiliates, Bay News 9 and newspapers.
MJ started his show by saying, "Today begins a new, normal schedule for me, as my court case is
With a deep sigh, he looked down and said, "The jury decided, and we lost the case. I'm disappointed in the verdict. I've had better days."
During post-trial interviews, Bubba and his attorneys maintained that this "historic" verdict protects free speech, in addition to First
"It's a great day for the First Amendment and this country. We thank these fine men and women, these jurors, for their service," said longtime defense attorney Jay Diaco.
However, MJ didn't see it that way.
"You can not maliciously lie about somebody in order to destroy a career. I feel badly for my wife," MJ told his listeners.
In fact, he added, "I expect there to be more victims."
The tension during today's news conference began when questions were raised from viewers on Twitter who wanted to know why MJ didn't consider his wife a public figure, and why he cried in court. When asked about the First Amendment, he shot back.
"Don't even go there. It has nothing to do with that," he remarked. "Because you can't maliciously lie about somebody."
MJ appeared to be angry and flustered at the questions posed.
He also claimed that he has been verbally assaulted on Twitter. However, according to MJ's Twitter account, he has chosen to retweet those aforementioned messages, many extremely vulgar and detailed, including references to body parts.
"Look at what I'm dealing with," he implored to reporters. "I fought for my family, and I'd do this again."
When asked why he would do it again, even though it was one of the most painful experiences ever, he said, "I will protect my wife and children. Our reputation is all we have."
Follow 10 News Reporter Melanie Michael on twitter @WTSPMelanie
You may also like...
Prostitute Roundup: 78 arrested in online sex sting
Sex blog: Tampa area school CFO busted over her dirty sex porn blog *warning, GRAPHIC*
Nasty Nasty Dining: 10 of the nastiest restaurants in Tampa Bay in 2012
The KING lives: Never before seen pictures of Elvis found in Florida warehouse
Forgive me Father: Priest calls 911 after getting stuck in handcuffs
Faces of Meth: Before and After pictures
Take us with you: Download the 10 News app for your iPad
Political Pooch: What happened to Gov. Rick Scott's dog Reagan?
Bikini Photos: 2012 Hooters International Swimsuit Pageant
Marijuana candy: Cops say weed candy is newest drug on the street
Money Mondays: How you can search for unclaimed cash
Sex Offender Mugshots: Look up Florida Sex Offenders here
Bikinis, mud, trucks: The Redneck Yacht Club
Naughty Schoolgirls: Naughty schoolgirl night at Tampa club pictures
Outrageous mug shot galleries...
Notorious Women: Bad girls behind bars
Teachers: Teacher arrest mugshots
Celebrities: The rich and famous have their own booking photos
Jaw droppers: Open mouth mug shots
Laughers: What's so funny mug shots
Prostitutes: Prostitute mug shots
Athletes: Professional athlete mug shots
Porn arrests: Child porn arrest mug shots
Local Mugs: Hillsborough County Mug shots
More unusual mug shots and galleries: 10 News slideshows and galleries
Upcoming Events near Highlands County
Most popular stories from nearby communities
- Bartow middle school teacher fired for inappropriate texts, touching student
- While a teacher, who police say had sex with student appears in court, another family comes forward about the 29 year old.
- Fatal crash in Lake Wales closes portion of Hwy 60 E
- Sentencing scheduled for 1981 shooting rampage
- Funeral held for Bay area soldier killed at Fort Hood