The war of the Rosies comes to Manhattan this week when Rosie O'Donnell (search) faces off in court against the former publishers of her Rosie magazine.
The former talk-show host will be the star witness in the trial, a big-bucks battle between the so-called "Queen of Nice" and Gruner + Jahr Publishing (search) over the demise of "Rosie - the Magazine With Personality."
G+J fired the first shot in the feud, claiming in a $300 million lawsuit that O'Donnell's "bizarre and oftentimes mean-spirited behavior soon had the effect of making it difficult, and ultimately impossible, for G+J to continue publishing the magazine."
The publisher charged that after O'Donnell ended her six-year run as host of her own talk show, she "began to transform her public persona from warm, fun-loving "Queen of Nice" to a self-proclaimed "uber-bitch" who made "irrational" demands on G+J.
G+J, which is seeking triple damages, said it took a $100 million hit when O'Donnell quit the magazine, having to pay severance to 150 people and being left liable for 3 million subscriptions.
O'Donnell shot back with her own $100 million countersuit, saying the publishers undercut her authority at the magazine and tried to cut her out of the editorial process - partly because they were homophobic.
"G+J was wary of O'Donnell's vision and persona because she had recently publicly announced that she was gay, and shortly thereafter quit her television show," her court papers charge.
O'Donnell also claimed the magazine cooked its books to cheat her, and then hired Susan Toepfler as editor-in-chief to change "the editorial vision" of the magazine and ostracize her.
O'Donnell quit her eponymous magazine in September 2002 in amid deteriorating relations between her and the publisher, saying she was resigning to protect her good name and assets.
Before O'Donnell jumped ship, arguments erupted regularly over who would appear on Rosie's covers, with G+J vetoing O'Donnell pals, such as Cher and Christopher Reeve (search).