The suits and countersuits filed by Rosie O'Donnell and former Rosie publisher Gruner + Jahr USA are headed to court, reports E! Online. New York State supreme court justice Ira Gammerman rejected motions from both sides to dismiss and set September 30 for the next hearing on the matter. A trial date is expected to be set for late October or early November.
G+J sued O'Donnell in October 2002 for $100 million, claiming that O'Donnell's "bizarre and ofttimes mean-spirited behavior...had the effect of making it difficult and ultimately impossible for G+J to continue publishing the magazine." The company's suit went on to state that O'Donnell, after departing her hit talk show following six years on the air, "began to transform her public persona from warm, fun-loving 'Queen of Nice' to a self-proclaimed über-bitch." O'Donnell responded with a $125 million suit of her own, holding the company responsible for destroying the magazine and attempting to take down her reputation as well. She claims the publisher attempted a "hostile takeover" when former People editor Susan Toepfer was installed at Rosie and tried to take the magazine in directions of which O'Donnell did not approve. O'Donnell departed the magazine in September.