Magazine publisher sues Rosie for $100 million. O'Donnell's folding of her namesake magazine leads to a breach-of-contract lawsuit

By Gary Susman
September 01, 2002 at 04:00 AM EDT

Rosie O’Donnell may have dropped out of the publishing business, but she’ll be generating reams of paperwork for a long time to come. On Tuesday, nearly two weeks after she announced she was pulling the plug on Rosie magazine, publisher Gruner + Jahr filed a $100 million lawsuit against O’Donnell and her company, Lucky Charms Entertainment, Mediaweek.com reports.

Rosie magazine was O’Donnell’s joint venture with G+J, superseding its venerable women’s magazine McCall’s in April, 2001. But in recent months, O’Donnell and the publisher had quarreled over the periodical’s editorial direction. Things came to a head in July when, as the suit says, ”O’Donnell, having recently terminated her daytime television talk show, began to transform her persona from the warm, fun-loving ‘Queen of Nice’ to a self-proclaimed ‘uber bitch,’ and behaved erratically and in defiance of her contractual commitments to G+J.” Finally, on Sept. 18, O’Donnell announced that she was pulling out of her deal with G+J, effectively killing the 125-year-old magazine.

The suit cites O’Donnell for breach of contract, breach of fiduciary duties, interfering with the publication of the magazine, and publicly disparaging G+J and the magazine. For her part, O’Donnell plans to fight back with her own litigation. Her spokeswoman told Mediaweek that O’Donnell ”plans on aggressively fighting this and will countersue on Gruner + Jahr’s breaches of contract.”

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