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Not so ‘Nasty’: Royle drops defamation suit against Aparicio

In a lengthy blog post, Baltimore sports radio station owner and personality Nestor Aparicio expressed more relief than vindication Monday at sports reporter Jennifer Royle’s decision to drop an $800,000 defamation claim against him and two radio hosts for a year’s worth of alleged attacks through the airways and online.

“Despite all of the havoc she’s wreaked inside of my company and the damage to my reputation in the community with her allegations, in the end Jennifer Royle got nothing, zero, zilch — not one penny of WNST money, which was her motivation from the outset,” Aparicio wrote in a 3,700 word post on WNST’s website.

“As much as my company can claim some sort of public ‘victory’ today, I know I’m not a ‘winner,’ that’s for sure. This was a game of legal chess and a complete waste of time and energy that no one in my company ever signed on to play.”

Aparicio, in an interview Monday, said he wrote his online “tome” to defend the reputation he has spent 27 years building as a sports reporter in Baltimore against the potential damage caused by a “meritless” lawsuit.

“I wanted people to know the truth,” he added. “I wanted people to know why I felt that way.”

Neither Royle nor her attorney, Brian S. Goodman, would comment on the case, why it was dropped or Aparicio’s blog post.

“I don’t really litigate in the media,” said Goodman, of Hodes, Pessin & Katz P.A. in Towson. “The case has been dismissed.”

Royle, of WJZ-FM 105.7 The Fan, had claimed that Aparicio and radio hosts Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark used their blogs and the station’s Twitter feed to challenge her professionalism, saying she was having inappropriate sexual relationships with pro athletes and that she “looks like a stripper,” according to the complaint filed March 10 in Baltimore City Circuit Court. She also accused Forrester of publishing threats of violence.

In his blog, Aparicio stated that he is grateful to Royle for having withdrawn her complaint, since he “no longer had to monitor [her] mindless web ramblings, which most certainly robbed me of my time as much as the lawsuit robbed me of sponsors and some dignity that I’ll never recover in some segments of the community who convict those in the court of public opinion and on the 5 o’clock news.”

He also blogged that, “after this … her name will never roll off my lips again,” which Royle reportedly told Baltimore Sun entertainment critic David Zurawik was victory enough for her.

The complaint, which Royle withdrew Aug. 18, sought $500,000 in compensatory damages and $300,000 in punitive damages for defamation, unreasonable publicity given to public life, false light and intentional infliction of emotional distress.

According to the lawsuit, Royle’s “reputation as a journalist has been diminished, threatening future business prospects and her ability to obtain further or subsequent employment as a journalist.”

The attacks had resulted in so much emotional distress that Royle sought mental health treatment and was placed on medication, according to the complaint.

Aparicio, Forrester and Clark denied the allegations in court papers.

Forrester and Clark co-host WNST’s morning radio show.

Their attorney, Charles D. “Chuck” Tobin, did not return telephone messages seeking comment. Tobin is with Holland & Knight LLP in Washington, D.C.

Royle, a Boston native, joined the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network and WJZ’s 105.7 The Fan in April 2010 to cover the Baltimore Orioles after seven years of covering the New York Yankees.

She left MASN last April to co-host a baseball show for The Fan.