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Rosie O'Donnell to countersue Gruner + Jahr

Rosie O'Donnell to countersue Gruner + Jahr's Roger Friedman reports that Rosie O'Donnell will countersue Gruner + Jahr USA, the publishers of Rosie magazine, who are suing O'Donnell for $300 million. One of O'Donnell's attorneys, Lorna G. Schofield, issued a press release Thursday stating that O'Donnell had been working since September 18, the day she announced the end of the magazine, to get the last two issues of Rosie out in cooperation with G+J. The release goes on to state, "As soon as Rosie gave G+J all her articles for the December issue, they sued her." Friedman states that in the letter O'Donnell sent to G+J on September 18, she offered to split amicably with the magazine, despite her loss of editorial control and the hiring of staff members of whom she did not approve. "As we have discussed in the past, we encourage you to continue the magazine.... Even though Rosie has made a significant financial investment in the magazine, she will not seek to recoup it if the parties part ways in a cooperative spirit." Rather than part amicably, O'Donnell's countersuit states, G+J chose to sue her. O'Donnell's letter also states that G+J consistently lied to her about reinstating certain staff members who had been fired and that replacement editor Susan Toepfer kept O'Donnell waiting 90 minutes so that G+J lawyers could be present during their meeting.

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