After three hours of deliberations, a jury has found Bubba The Love Sponge not guilty on all accounts, in his court battle with rival Tampa radio host Todd "MJ" Schnitt, according to the Tampa Bay Tribune.
Closing arguments were made earlier today in the trial, which was then sent to a jury. Tampa Bay Online reports that Schnitt's attorney told the jury in his closing statement that Bubba defamed his client on the air "out of sheer hatred." However, Bubba's lawyer Joseph Diaco said in his closing argument that "No one goes to the Bubba the Love Sponge morning show to learn an objective fact. It's an entertainment show. It's a farce."
Today's decision came after nine days of testimony over the past three weeks. However, the trial was practically overshadowed by the DUI arrest of one of Schnitt's attorneys and accusations that the arrest was a setup from Bubba's camp.
On Tuesday, Kimberly Collelo (aka Jabberjaw), a former producer for both parties' radio shows, testified in court about her past experiences with both radio hosts.
Tampa Bay Online noted that "A public figure, such as Todd Schnitt, must prove there was 'actual malice,' that is that statements were made with knowledge that a statement is false or in reckless disregard for being true or false. Clear and convincing evidence must be shown that the plaintiff was harmed." Also important in the court decision is that Schnitt's wife Michelle is a private figure.