TAMPA (FOX 13) - Three years after radio rivals Todd "MJ" Schnitt and Bubba the Love Sponge battled it out during a contentious defamation trial, they met again in a Tampa courtroom.
Bubba took the stand Tuesday in a civil case against MJ and his wife over nearly $1 million in unpaid legal fees to attorneys Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick.
The Schnitts are counter suing, saying their lawyer, Phil Campbell gave them bad advice and engaged in dirty tactics. The Schnitts want the legal fees they did pay reimbursed.
It all dates back to 2013, when the Schnitts sued Bubba for defamation after Bubba called Michelle Schnitt derogatory names on his radio show.
Bubba said it was nothing more than a radio war against his biggest rival, who at the time was MJ.
He said the names he called Michelle Schnitt were just jokes.
"If you listen to it in context, I was trying to get MJ riled up, so that's what I said in context. I've known Michelle since 1994. I don't think that's she's that person," Bubba explained on the stand Tuesday.
Bubba said he saw Michelle as a public figure because she was a former prosecutor, making her fair game under the law. However, Bubba explained the name calling was not a personal attack against Michelle.
"To MJ's credit, when I came back in '08, he was the number one guy, and what do radio guys do? They go after the number one radio guy, kinda like pro wrestling. It's a little smack talking.. and MJ has done it before. He's talked smack about his competition before.. We came into this market dead last, and you take a shot at the king, and at that time MJ was the king," Bubba said.
During cross examination, however, Attorney Joe Varner - who represents Shumaker, Loop and Kendrick - challenged Bubba on whether Bubba broke a legal agreement not to talk about Michelle Schnitt on his radio show.
Varner brought up recent examples for Bubba, "where you call MJ a 'cry baby' and 'Michelle came up with Isis type plans' to mess with you."
In a tongue-in-cheek response, Bubba quipped, "I appreciate you listening, by the way."
Then he added, "I watched FOX 13 and they said 'Phil was doing this and Michelle was doing that' and it was a big hot potato on who was doing what to me.. I don't have a problem with Michelle Schnitt. None. I have a bigger problem with Phil Campbell," Bubba explained.
After nearly three weeks of testimony, the Schnitts will now present their case. They are counter suing their lawyers, claiming the defamation case should have never been filed because it was unwinnable.