Rosie Countersues over Dead Magazine

updated 10/22/2002 at 01:00 AM EDT

originally published 10/22/2002 01:00PM

The second shot has been fired. Former talk-show host (and, now, former magazine editor) Rosie O'Donnell filed a $125 million countersuit Monday against Gruner + Jahr USA, the publishers of her defunct magazine, claiming it seized control of the title and forced her to resign, Reuters reports.

Earlier this month, G+J sued O'Donnell, 40, for $100 million, claiming she doomed the magazine by radically changing "her public persona from the warm, fun-loving 'Queen of Nice' to a self-proclaimed 'uber bitch,'" according to papers filed in the suit. The company also claims O'Donnell began "to behave erratically and in defiance of her contractual commitments to G+J."

The publishing company formally suspended publication of Rosie magazine last Friday and fired most of its 120 employees. When she quit the magazine a month ago, O'Donnell claimed at a press conference that the title no longer represented her "vision and ideas."

In her lawsuit, O'Donnell claims G+J and its CEO, Dan Brewster, seized control of the magazine in July, fired staff members who were loyal to the comedian, briefly made her a prisoner in her own office and launched a smear campaign in the press to discredit her.

"Gruner + Jahr has reviewed Rosie O'Donnell's complaint and has no comment other than to say that we stand by our version of the facts, which are set out in our complaint against Ms. O'Donnell," a spokeswoman for Gruner + Jahr said. "G+J is confident we will prevail in litigation."
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