Jennifer Royle drops suit against Nestor Aparicio, claims victory in ending 'harassment'

Jen Royle
(Valerie Paulsgrove)

Jennifer Royle, a sportscaster at 105.7 The Fan, confirmed Monday that she has dropped her defamation lawsuit against Nestor Aparicio and two of his colleagues at radio station WNST.

"All I wanted was for the harassment to stop," Royle said. "Nestor wrote on his blog that he will never speak my name again. It looks like I won."

But Aparicio doesn't see it that way.

"If she wants to go around proclaiming victory,' she's wrong," he said in a telephone interview Monday. "She got publicity out of it. If that's what her goal was, to get publicity, to get herself on the front page of the paper, I guess she accomplished that... If that was her goal, then great. But she didn't get anything from me, that's for sure. WNST didn't give her a nickel."

The $800,000 suit against station owner Aparicio and two of his on-air hosts claimed that they diminished Royle's reputation by calling her "trashy" and incompetent on-air and online.

Royle, who has been covering the Orioles and the Ravens for WJZ-FM for about 17 months, had filed the suit March 10 in Baltimore Circuit Court. Royle now reports only for radio station 105.7 The Fan.

The suit alleges that during her time at the Mid-Atlantic Sports Network, Aparicio, Glenn Clark and Drew Forrester made repeated statements about Royle on WNST 1570-AM, on blogs and on Twitter. According to the suit, the statements included saying Royle was incompetent, involved in sexual relationships with multiple professional athletes and resembled a stripper.

In telephone interviews Monday, Royle characterized the outcome of her suit as a victory even though she received no money from Aparicio, Clark or Forrester, because she believes she has brought an end to what she characterized as harassment.

"I initially wanted to sue for an apology," Royle said. "But apparently, according to my attorney, I needed to put a dollar figure on it or something. I never wanted a penny. All I wanted was for the harassment to stop... "

Royle added that "no female reporter should have to go through what" she did in terms of what she alleges was harrassment from Aparicio, Clark and Forrester.

"I was doing this for the next girl [female sportscaster] who came in after me," she said Monday.

"I am just glad it's over," Clark said Monday morning in a telephone interview. "I've never done any of the things I was accused of in that lawsuit."

Aparacio said that while he had to "invest 20 years in building a brand" for his various media platforms, "she built a brand by suing me."

He added, "To say that I feel victimized would be an understatement."

Here is a small part of a post put up today by Aparicio at his website:

Her lawsuit against me, WNST and my employees Drew Forrester and Glenn Clark, was completely without merit.

This costly and damaging witch hunt and blatant attempt to injure my company and a reputation that I've spent 27 years of my life erecting here in my hometown of Baltimore as a "tell it like it is" journalist in the style of my heroes John Steadman and Howard Cosell – is now complete.

Time and facts have proven that WNST never did anything inappropriate.

Ms. Royle dropped the case after our lawyers filed a motion asking a judge to order her to answer a series of questions that she didn't want to answer.

Instead of responding to our motions, she took her marbles and went home.

As we stated all along, we did nothing wrong at WNST.net. Her allegations were a public affront to me, and an attack on my personal integrity and the value of everything we've built this 21st century local media company to stand for publicly over the past two decades.

My company and my personal reputation have been greatly damaged over the last six months with this black cloud of nonsense, gossip and bogus lawsuit, and I'm glad to publicly tell you today that we prevailed, but what we've received lacks justice for me, my employees, and our families.

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. So, I suppose she "lost" this battle although I'm not sure it cost her any money at all to create this media firestorm so perhaps she's a winner.

Read Aparicio's full (and much longer) post here.

Since March, Royle has been co-hosting a Baltimore Orioles pre-game show on the station, but that show ended last week. She will now be involved full time in Baltimore Ravens football shows, according to Dave Labrozzi, programming vice president for CBS Radio in Baltimore.

Royle, who came to Baltimore from Boston, said stations in that town have expressed interest in her as a job candidate. She said that she felt being characterized in the terms she alleges the WNST staffers using hurt her employment opportunities.