Friday, September 14, 2012

Jury Gone Wild: Francis Socked with $40m Defamation Judgment

English: Joe Francis attending the second issu...
 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Joe Francis, the force behind the Girls Gone Wild! soft-core phenomenon and lead Barbarian at the Gate, finds himself on the wrong end of a $40 million defamation judgment after a jury doubled its verdict in a suit in which Francis alleged that Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn threatened to kill him over a  2009 disputed $2 million gambling debt.

Music legend Quincy Jones, Francis's neighbor, was dragged into the defamation claim brought by Wynn last April as a witness and proved to be the defendant's undoing, according to accounts by Courthouse News Service and THR, Esq. Francis alleged that Jones showed him emails from Wynn purportedly threatening to bash Francis in the head with a shovel and bury him in the desert over the gambling dispute, but Jones testified at trial that he knew nothing about any such alleged emails.

Wynn, who owns the Bellagio among other gambling resorts, reportedly will donate the $20 million award and $20 million punitive damages to charity. Francis plans to appeal.
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