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Fighting back tears, the 8 Simple Rules costar tells the court: "I loved John"

February 27, 2008 01:00 PM

John Ritter was a committed family man who was “funny like nobody’s business,” the late actor’s costar Katey Sagal testified Tuesday at the $67-million wrongful death trial brought by Ritter’s family against two doctors.

Besides Sagal, Ritter’s agent, personal assistant and son took the stand in Glendale, California’s Superior Court and paid tribute to the actor, the Associated Press reports

Sagal, 54, testified briefly and fought back tears as she told the jury, “I loved John.” She had played Ritter’s wife on ABC’s 8 Simple Rules … for Dating My Teenage Daughter, the sitcom in which he was starring when he died from an undiagnosed heart condition on Sept. 11, 2003.

The physicians’ lawyers say their clients did nothing wrong. “I really, really believe that for whatever reason, John Ritter’s time was up,” attorney Stephen C. Fraser, who represents radiologist Matthew Lotysch, told the Los Angeles Times last month.

On Tuesday, son Jason Ritter, 28, told the court he sorely missed his father’s advice and support in navigating his own fledgling acting career. Ritter’s agent Jessica Pilch-Samuel, during her time on the stand, testified that her client still looked forward to a long career.

“He was America’s darling,” said Pilch-Samuel. “He would have done movie after movie.” She also told the jury that if Ritter had been able to renew his contract for future seasons of the sitcom, she would have asked for $200,000 to $250,000 per episode for his services.

Ritter’s personal assistant, Susan Wilcox, called her late employer “a delight to be with – a kind and decent and loving man.”

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