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‘Girls Gone Wild’ Founder Gets 35 Days in Jail


The founder of the “Girls Gone Wild” video company pleaded guilty to criminal contempt yesterday for failing to meet a settlement deadline. Joe Francis was fined $5,000 and sentenced to 35 days in jail, the Los Angeles Times reports.

Francis wiped away tears as he apologized to the court for yelling at plaintiffs during settlement talks in a civil suit that claims women were minors when filmed for the videos, the Associated Press reports. He subsequently reached a settlement, but the terms were not disclosed.

U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak had ordered Francis to settle the suit or go to jail. Francis was arrested after failing to surrender to federal marshals.

“We’re disappointed Joe was convicted on one of the charges, but at least the end of this ordeal is in sight,” Jan Handzlik, Francis’ attorney, said in a statement. “It’s pretty unusual for a businessman to be shackled, jailed and held in solitary confinement, all stemming from his failure to mediate and settle a civil case.”

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