September 12th, 2012 by faye
“Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis has been slapped with another $20 million verdict in his defamation war with casino honcho, Steve Wynn — this aside from the $20 million Wynn was awarded on Monday.
According to reports, the additional $20 million Joe Francis needs to hand over is for punitive damages in Steve Wynn’s defamation lawsuit, wherein the casino mogul claimed Francis made false claims that he threatened Francis to have him murdered by getting hit in the head with a shovel and being buried in the desert — all because of a gambling debt.
The four-day trial finally came to an end on Monday, but neither Joe Francis nor Steve Wynn were in court when the verdict was read. Francis was initially hit with $20 million in compensatory damages — for the statements he made to media outlet TMZ, “Good Morning America,” and more. With the additional $20 million in punitive damages, the “Girls Gone Wild” creator will now be handing over a total of $40 million to Steve Wynn.
The trial was centered on the claim made by Joe Francis that Steve Wynn had threatened to kill him in an email about a gambling debt, which was allegedly seen by legendary music mogul, Quincy Jones. Wynn sued Francis, saying his allegations are false and that the entrepreneur was wreaking havoc on Wynn’s reputation.
During an exclusive interview with “Good Morning America” in August, Francis described the alleged emails.
“In all caps, and then exclamation points — like a crazy person’s email – [Wynn wrote], ‘I’m going to hit to him in the back of the head with a shovel and have him buried in the middle of the desert,’” Joe Francis said. “I was afraid for my life. He made it very clear that he wanted to kill me.”
Meanwhile, Wynn has promised to donate the money he won from the lawsuit into a charity. On the other hand, Francis said he plans to contest the court verdict and expects the decision to be overturned.
Following the new verdict, Steve Wynn released a statement, saying, “Joe Francis represents a new kind of criminal type: the digital assassin. He takes advantage of the protection afforded by the internet to issue intentionally destructive charges against someone’s reputation.”
He added, “Thank God for the justice system that finally sent a message.”
September 11th, 2012 by faye
“Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis has just been ordered to pay casino mogul Steve Wynn a total amount of $20 million to settle their ongoing legal dispute.
As previous reports have stated, Steve Wynn filed a lawsuit against Joe Francis for defamation, claiming that he made false accusations that the casino honcho threatened to have him killed by hitting him with a shovel in the head and burying him in the desert over an unsettled $2 million gambling debt.
Grammy winning record producer Quincy Jones also testified in the trial, claiming Joe Francis told him about Wynn’s threats and showed him emails.
On Monday, the judge in the case nailed Joe Francis to the tune of $5 million for statements made to a producer of media outlet TMZ in a courtroom hallway, talking trash about Steve Wynn. Then, the jury added $11 million for defamatory statements Francis made on “Good Morning America.” All in all, the producer will be handing over $20 million to Wynn.
Now, the jury will make a decision if Joe Francis gets hit with punitive damages, which could be an additional $60 million.
Francis is worth a reported $150 million.
Neither Wynn nor Francis were present in court Monday morning when the verdict was read.
Joe Francis said he expects the verdict to be overturned on appeal because of judicial error, one of which was allowing Steve Wynn to add the “Good Morning America” claim at the end of the trial. Francis said, “California law is very clear. You can’t add a cause of action at the end of trial about something that had nothing to do with the trial. Therefore we are 100 percent confident this jury verdict will be reversed on appeal.”
Francis also believes that some of the statements that allegedly constitute defamation were made in a court proceeding where Francis was seeking a restraining order against Wynn and were therefore privileged.
Wynn, the CEO of The Mirage, Bellagio, Wynn, and Encore will be donating any winnings to charity.
March 26th, 2012 by faye
Entrepreneur and founder of Girls Gone Wild Brands, Joe Francis, has reportedly filed a lawsuit against a guy named Mohamed Hadid whom he shared a helicopter with. Francis claims that he spent almost a quarter million for a helicopter ten years ago, but he still has no idea where it is now.
According to the papers filed at the Los Angeles Superior Court, GGW guru Joe Francis shared a Bell 206 Long Ranger helicopter in 2002 with a rich man named Mohamed Hadid. The entrepreneur claims he paid $226,000 for his share, but he says he never signed any paperwork or asked any questions, claiming he trusted Mohamed Hadid with all the small details, such as the location, full price, and working condition. Joe Francis says he doesn’t even know who currently holds the title to the chopper.
Now, Francis wants to get back his $226,000 – claiming he was prohibited from using the helicopter. What’s worse is that he believes that the chopper was secretly sold behind his back.
The lawsuit of Joe Francis against Mohamed Hadid is also seeking unspecified damages.
February 27th, 2012 by faye
The ongoing dispute between Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn and ‘Girls Gone Wild’ creator Joe Francis has finally come to an end. During a court hearing on Wednesday, the judges of Nevada District Court reached a decision and ordered Joe Francis to pay a total amount of $7.5 million in damages to Steve Wynn.
The beef between the two multi-millionaires started back in 2008 when Steve Wynn and Wynn Las Vegas filed a lawsuit against Joe Francis for failing to pay back the $2 million debt he reportedly incurred at the Wynn Las Vegas Casino. The lawsuit later intensified when Joe Francis threatened to expose the ways in which the casino head “deceives his high-end customers.”
David Francis, Joe Francis attorney said in a statement that he and his client intend to appeal the court order, citing that “Joe was not allowed to defend himself.”
After the court hearing, Nevada District Court Judge Mark Denton ruled in favor of Steve Wynn and Wynn Las Vegas, awarding $5 million in compensatory and $2.5 million in punitive damages. The ruling disproves the false claims against Steve Wynn and Wynn Las Vegas that Joe Francis has publicly announced over the course of three years.
Joe Francis still owes $2 million plus interest and fees to Wynn Las Vegas as determined by the Nevada District Court in 2009. That judgment still stands and Wynn Las Vegas will continue its efforts to identify and attach assets of Francis to satisfy both judgments.
Entrepreneur Joe Francis made headlines earlier this month after he issued a cease-and-desist letter to Madonna, NBC Universal and NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell demanding that the pop icon refrain from performing her new song “Girls Gone Wild” at the Super Bowl.
February 13th, 2012 by faye
Madonna still proves to be the Queen of Pop, after she wowed thousands and thousands of audience during her halftime performance at the Super Bowl game. However, one particular entrepreneur in the name of Joe Francis is not happy about it and STILL plans to file a lawsuit against the ‘American Pie’ singer, Madonna.
Joe Francis threatened to sue pop singer Madonna if she sings a song called “Girls Gone Wild” during her halftime show in Super Bowl. In response to Joe Francis’ cease and desist letter which states “misappropriation of the Girls Gone Wild trademark will not be tolerated,” Madonna removed the said song off her Super Bowl set list. However, Joe Francis is still pissed about Madonna hitting #1 in over 50 countries. The ‘Girls Gone Wild’ song also appears on the upcoming album of Madonna.
Joe Francis’ camp threatened to bring litigation against Madonna, as well as the NFL and NBC, labeled “co-conspirators” if she sings “Girls Gone Wild” on the Super Bowl show, thereby “free riding” on the “valuable consumer goodwill and brand recognition” attached to the product line of Joe Francis.
Joe Francis legal team said, “This isn’t personally directed at Madonna as a person, this is a business decision. And now she’s aware that she stepped over the line.”