Bankruptcy Law

'Girls Gone Wild' company files for bankruptcy to deal with 'frivolous and burdensome legal affairs'


Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis.
CarlaVanWagoner /

A Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing by the company that produces the racy Girls Gone Wild videos was apparently prompted by large judgments in several tort cases.

However, GGW Brands LLC said in a written statement that its Wednesday filing in federal bankruptcy court in Los Angeles would not prevent the company from continuing to do business as usual in the U.S. and abroad, reports Reuters.

The filing lists $16 million in debts, including $10.3 million owed to Steve Wynn, owner of Wynn Resorts casino.

Joe Francis, who created the Girls Gone Wild franchise, last year was ordered to pay Wynn $40 million in a defamation suit, but the award was subsequently cut to $19 million and he is appealing, notes a Fox Business article about the bankruptcy filing.

However, the GGW Brands filing didn’t mention the Wynn suit against Francis, says a Bloomberg article, simply the debt to Wynn. And an ABC News article says the $10.3 million is a disputed debt related to a claimed $2 million gambling debt racked up by Francis during a 2007 trip to Las Vegas, according to the company’s filing.

GGW Brands also listed as a debtor a woman who won a $5.8 million judgment over footage taken when her breasts were exposed by someone else in a bar. She has filed a federal suit in Missouri to try to collect from GGW Brands, Francis and Mantra Films, notes Bloomberg.

“The company Girls Gone Wild remains strong as a company and strong financially. The only reason Girls Gone Wild has elected to file for this reorganization is to restructure its frivolous and burdensome legal affairs,” explained GGW Brands in a Thursday written statement provided to Reuters.

Related coverage: “Held in Contempt, But Still Victorious: ‘Girls Gone Wild’ Founder Wins Civil Trial”

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