"Girls Gone Wild" creator gets his comeuppance in court

The man who asked millions of women to strip for his camera gets a taste of his own medicine.

Published December 22, 2005 12:53PM (EST)

If it weren't for Boing Boing, we might have missed this little legal report from Tuesday's Los Angeles Times -- and that would have been a shame because, frankly, it gets Broadsheet's vote for feel-good story of the holiday season!

It seems that Joe Francis, the 32-year-old creator of "Girls Gone Wild" and former Paris Hilton squire, had a rough day in court this week. Francis, who made a mint peddling softcore porn videos of regular gals persuaded into baring their breasts, went to court claiming that last year he was the victim of robbery, kidnapping and extortion at his Bel Air, Calif., home. But, according to the Times, Ronald Richards, the defense counsel, turned the tables on Francis, asking "about a theft arrest in North Carolina, and a case pending in Florida alleging that he filmed minors for one of his videotapes and was charged with racketeering, prostitution, obscenity, child pornography and possession of an illegal drug."

Francis plead the Fifth.

So, Francis is a sleaze -- no big surprise? Wait -- the real money shot comes when we learn the exact nature of Francis' charges. In court testimony, Francis identifies his attacker as 28-year-old Darnell Riley, and alleges that the man "stole cash and possessions and then forced him to make a humiliating, half-naked video ...[and] threatened to distribute the video unless Francis paid him $300,000 to $500,000." (Emphasis ours.)

Wait -- you mean he tried to profit off sexual exploitation and humiliation? What a monster!

Isn't it nice to know that with or without a judge and jury, the universe takes care of karmic justice?

By Sarah Karnasiewicz

Sarah Karnasiewicz is a freelance writer and photographer based in Brooklyn, N.Y. Until recently, she was senior editor at Saveur magazine; prior to that she was deputy Life editor at Salon. She has contributed to the New York Times, the New York Observer and Rolling Stone, among other publications. For more of her work, visit thefastertimes.com/streetfood and Signs and Wonders.

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