Rosie Rebuts: Magazine Editor Lied
Rosie O’Donnell, who isn’t expected to take the stand until Thursday in her legal clash with her former publisher Gruner + Jahr, told reporters after Monday’s session that the editor-in-chief of her now-defunct magazine lied to the judge.
Specifically, O’Donnell rebutted editor Susan Toepfer’s testimony that the entertainer objected to a September 2002 cover photo of Rosie with her arms around other women because she is a lesbian.
According to the Associated Press, Toepfer recalled on the stand that O’Donnell objected to a picture that featured two female stars of “The Sopranos” with O’Donnell between them and with her arm around each. After seeing the picture, O’Donnell allegedly called Toepfer and screamed obscenities at her.
“She said, ‘As a lesbian, I’m uncomfortable being on a magazine cover holding another woman or touching another woman,'” Toepfer testified. “I said, ‘You know, Rosie, that would never have occurred to me in a thousand years.'”
To reporters outside the courtroom Monday, O’Donnell, 41, said: “I have never in my entire life said, ‘As a lesbian, pass me the salt. As a lesbian, blah, blah, blah.'”
Both sides have agreed the photo, which never ran (although it does appear on Tuesday’s front pages of New York’s Daily News and the Post, and NBC’s “Today” show), started the fight that brought about the demise Rosie magazine.
It was in September 2002 that the former talk-show hostess (who had quit her show the previous May) declared that G + J had violated its contract by cutting her out of key editorial decisions, and she quit the magazine.
G + J quickly sued O’Donnell for $100 million, alleging breach of contract. O’Donnell just as quickly countersued on similar grounds for $125 million.