Popular talk show host, Ortland Bodie Jr. was yesterday ordered to pay a $2,500 fine to a local charity following disparaging remarks he made on his show last month about a sitting judge.
The host of the More 94.9 FM programme, Real Talk Live, has apologised to Supreme Court Justice Stephen Isaacs for his June 21 comments.
In court, Bodie, under oath, repeated what he had said about Justice Isaacs on his show.
“Well blow me down, Justice Stephen Isaacs; he’s a good friend of mine,” he read from his affidavit.
“I won’t say how good of a friend he is, but if he doesn’t do the right thing I could talk his business.”
At the time, the talk show host was referring to a case involving murder accused Stephen ‘Die’ Stubbs. Justice Isaacs is presiding over the trial.
Bodie told the judge that he was sorry and that he had offended the court greatly.
He told the judge that he knows better and conceded that the public could have drawn sinister inferences from what he said.
In giving his decision, the judge said he accepted Bodie’s apology, but said the matter was a serious one especially considering that Bodie is a former attorney.
“You have invited ridicule on the administration of justice,” the Justice Isaacs said.
“You have to be responsible for your utterances and what you said was unacceptable. It’s like the old people say ‘murder by whisper.’ But I note that you have owned up to your own words. There are 13 judges presently sitting and close to 1,200 lawyers creating work. Five of those judges are hearing criminal matters so judges are very busy.”
He said what Bodie did amounted to “gratuitous degradation” and that he had the right to reject Bodie’s apology.
Justice Isaacs said the nature of the talk show host’s contempt was of the most serious kind and said scandalising a judge is punishable by imprisonment, fine or both.
In the end, the judge gave the Real Talk Live show host two options: to either spend seven days in Her Majesty’s Prison (HMP) or pay a $2,500 fine to the Ranfurly Home for Children by the end of business on July 9, withdraw the statement and give a public apology on the talk show.
Bodie agreed to pay the fine by the end of yesterday.
“I had no doubt that the judge would do the right thing based on the law,” the talk show host told the media following the hearing.
“I’m happy that he followed the law. I admit that I was totally wrong for the way I spoke about the judge. It is crucial in a country such as ours that the rule of law be upheld at all times. You cannot and you should not as a lawyer impugn the character of judge – it’s a no, no and is unacceptable. The judge could have sent me to prison.”
Bodie said he was relieved that he did not have to do the “Bank Lane shuffle” and thanked the judge for being “impartial and fair.” He also thanked God and his attorney.
“I think justice has been served and it will teach me a lesson to watch my juicy mouth in the future,” he said.
Bodie said he will not only pay the $2,500 fine but add some extra to it because the Ranfurly Home is one of his favorite charities.
He also said that he will give a public apology to the judge on his show every day for the next seven days.
Bodie was represented by attorneys Keith Seymour and Mark Rolle.