PALM HARBOR - A five year feud between two of Tampa Bay's most notorious radio shock jocks has ended, and both sides are claiming victory. "Bubba the Love Sponge" Clem and Todd "MJ" Schnitt were in mediation talks for 13 hours Thursday, finally reaching a settlement at midnight.
"We have an agreement. It's over," said Bubba, after waking up from a nap during the last hour of negotiations. He normally starts work on his morning radio show at 3AM.
"I'm more upset now than I was when I walked in here with all the chicken crap games that are being played," Bubba said. "I won, and that's all I really care about."
The agreement prevents Bubba from making any disparaging remarks about Schnitt's wife Michelle, or his children, according to Schnitt's attorney Wil Florin.
"In the event there are any violations to the agreement with regards to Michelle, the damages are $5,000 for each violation," Florin said.
Schnitt sued Bubba in civil court for defamation, but a jury ruled in Bubba's favor. Schnitt had threatened to seek a re-trial of the case, but this agreement ended any further litigation.
"The verdict will stand. And I'll be able to light up MJ on the air," Bubba said.
After the deal was reached, Schnitt appeared outside the negotiation room with his wife and attorney. Schnitt said he was prepared for any future remarks from Bubba, so long as Bubba keeps his family out of it.
"I'm a public figure. And you can assail me. You can attack me. You can call me a short guy, say you don't like my hair, say my show is no good. That's fair game," said Schnitt.
"This has been about protecting my family. My children, primarily," Schnitt said.
Bubba promised to light up Schnitt on his next radio show.
"I'll never take my boot off his neck, ever," Bubba said.
Before the mediation, Bubba accused Schnitt of trying to use the legal system to bankrupt him. In one interview, Bubba claimed his legal costs had reached $3 million.
"Today probably cost me $50,000. It's crazy," Bubba said.
According to Schnitt's legal team, Bubba waived further attempts to get paid for the legal fees incurred for his defense.
"We're really pleased with the result," Florin said. "It's unfortunate that it wasn't done years ago."