By nearly all accounts, Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis, a rich Orange County kid who got his start selling videos of people getting killed in accidents (“Banned from Television”), is a slimy d-bag, so it’s nice to hear that he’s been ordered to pay $20 million in a slander lawsuit. Even if I knew nothing about him, he looks like he smells like tanning oil and embalming fluid, and making eye contact with his picture makes me want to report a rape.
A jury on Monday awarded casino mogul Steve Wynn $20 million in his slander case against “Girls Gone Wild” founder Joe Francis, who claimed the creator of some of Las Vegas’ most upscale resorts threatened to kill him over a gambling debt.
Witnesses disputed Francis’ claims during a four-day trial, including Grammy winning record producer Quincy Jones, who Francis said told him about Wynn’s threats and showed him a stack of emails that contained them.
Wynn vehemently denied that. In siding with Wynn, the jury determined that there was clear and convincing evidence that Francis slandered the casino mogul and knew his allegations were false when he made them. [WashingtonPost]
The judge nailed Francis to the tune of $5 mil for statements made to a TMZ producer in a courtroom hallway … talking smack on Wynn. The jury added $11 mil for defamatory statements Francis made on “Good Morning America.” All tolled [sic?], the verdict is for $20 mil.
The jury will now decide if Francis gets hit with punitive damages .. and that could be an additional $60 mil. Francis is worth a reported $150 million. [TMZ]
Okay, so maybe him getting caught spreading lies none of us heard, about some other slimy rich guy none of us cared about (Wayne Newton’s wax effigy up there), isn’t exactly the poetic justice you’d wish on Joe Francis. In fact, this entire case feels like it took place in that yucky alternate future from Back to the Future 2. But hey, we can take small joy in bad things happening to sh*tty people, right? It’s the spice of life.