Judge Grants No Damages in Rosie Magazine Flap

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As expected based on earlier statements by the judge, neither Rosie O'Donnell nor Gruner + Jahr USA Publishing was awarded any damages or legal fees in dual breach-of-contract lawsuits brought about by the demise of Rosie magazine.

In his final ruling issued last week, New York state Supreme Court Justice Ira Gammerman said that both sides breached the agreement and that neither was entitled to monetary compensation.

This was in line with statements at the trial's end when Gammerman indicated that neither entity had proved deserving of damages. Testimony ended Nov. 12.

In reaction to the ruling, G+J issued a statement saying in part, "We respectfully disagree with this decision to the extent the court found G+J USA breached, and G+J USA is exploring its options at this time."

Associated Press reports quoted an O'Donnell spokeswoman saying that O'Donnell saw the ruling as victory. O'Donnell previously had stated publicly that she would not appeal the decision no matter the outcome.

The court battle began Oct. 30, and each side tried to prove that the other violated the agreement that produced Rosie, a joint venture between the two parties that replaced the ailing McCall's magazine in April 2001.

Termination of that agreement was announced Sept. 18, 2002, after months of feuding between the two sides over editorial control of the publication. The final issue of Rosie appeared on newsstands in November 2002.

G+J filed a $100 million lawsuit against O'Donnell for pulling out on Oct. 1. O'Donnell countered two days later with a suit against G+J for $125 million.


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