Trial: Rosie Painted as Quixotic Boss

10/31/2003 at 02:43 PM EST

On Day Two of the Rosie O'Donnell-Gruner + Jahr trial, a former editor of the now-defunct Rosie magazine testified Friday that she avoided frequent disagreements with O'Donnell because she was afraid she'd lose her job, reports the Associated Press.

"I picked my battles," said Cathy Cavender, who served as Rosie's editor-in-chief from December 2000 until being fired (by G + J) in June 2002.

Cavender said that over time she deduced that O'Donnell was "pretty sensitive," and issues Cavender believed to be simple would end up rankling the star.

"I'm asking you to be as direct as you can be with me," O'Donnell once e-mailed Cavender, adding at another time, "I am not a tyrant." Still, Cavender testified, "I felt that if I disagreed with Rosie too much I would lose my job."

O'Donnell, said Cavender, also wanted British pop star Boy George on a cover because she was preparing to produce his play "Taboo" for Broadway.

"I would rather go down breaking records and amazing people than stay at the shore watching the brave ones swim," O'Donnell told Cavender in an e-mail.

G+J executives, however, thought the magazine was already too edgy and were nervous about declining newsstand sales, Cavender said.

In response to Cavender's testimony, Boy George wrote a colorful letter to the New York Post, which published excerpts in its Monday editions. He said, in part: "What a delicious idea. I wish I had such power ... and cannot understand how I have become so central to (the trial)."

The trial, which began last Thursday, continues Monday and is expected to last two weeks.

O'Donnell, 41, is seeking $125 million after claiming G + J breached her contract to publish and damaged her name, while G + J is seeking $100 million amid claims that O'Donnell reneged on her agreement to serve as publisher and altered her public image from Queen of Nice to uber-bitch.

Your Reaction

Follow Us

On Newsstands Now

Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Robin Roberts: How Loved Saved Me
  • Emma and Andrew: All About Hollywood's Cutest Couple
  • Prince George! More Yummy Photos

Pick up your copy on newsstands

Click here for instant access to the Digital Magazine

Advertisement

From Our Partners

Watch It

Editors' Picks

From Our Partners



Sign up for our daily newsletter and other special offers.
    Choose your newsletters
Thank you for signing up! Your request may take up to one week to be processed.
    see all newsletters