Celebrities

Girls Gone Wild founder says jury that convicted him should be 'lined up and shot'


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Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis.
CarlaVanWagoner / Shutterstock.com

Updated: After being convicted of false imprisonment, Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis told the Hollywood Reporter that his jury was “retarded,” and should be killed.

“I want that jury to know that each and every one of you are mentally f–ing retarded and you should be euthanized because, as Darwin said, you have naturally selected yourself,” he said, according to the Hollywood Reporter. “You are the weakest members of the herd. Goodbye! And if that jury wants to convict me because I didn’t show up, which is the only reason why they did, then, you know, they should all be lined up and shot!”

Francis on May 6 was convicted of three counts of false imprisonment, one count of assault likely to cause great bodily injury and one count of dissuading a witness. The allegations involve three women Francis met at a Hollywood nightclub, who were celebrating a college graduation. According to the Los Angeles city attorney’s office, the women got in Francis’ limo thinking he was giving them a ride to their car, but he instead took them to his home. A fight broke out, prosecutors said, and Francis assaulted one of the women.

The Los Angeles County district attorney’s office declined to file charges after investigating the allegations, and referred the matter to the city attorney’s office, the Associated Press reports. Francis’ convictions in this matter are misdemeanors.

The jury was jealous of him, Francis also told the Hollywood Reporter. According to the article, Francis, his girlfriend and the reporter on the story drank multiple bottles of his “Double Diamond Bomber X cabernet” during the interview.

“The problem with the jury system is that anyone who’s not smart enough to come with an excuse to get out of jury duty doesn’t get out,” Francis said. “Only the stupidest of the stupidest people end up on juries, you know? I’ve never met a smart person who’s done jury duty.”

According to the Wall Street Journal’s Bankruptcy Beat blog, Francis could be sentenced to serve five years, and has other legal issues as well. GGW Brands LLC filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection earlier this year. R. Todd Neilson, the bankruptcy trustee, in April claimed that Francis threatened employees. The bankruptcy court issued a temporary restraining order against Francis, banning him from the company’s headquarters.

The company sought bankruptcy protection after Las Vegas mogul Steve Wynn got a $7.5 million defamation judgment against Francis, the Wall Street Journal reported in April. Francis falsely accused Wynn of deceiving customers, the article states, when Wynn attempted to collect a $2 million gambling debt Francis reportedly ran up during a 2007 casino visit.

Wynn’s lawyers dispute GGW’s assertion that Francis distanced himself from the business, the Wall Street Journal reports, and say that he uses the company to hide his assets from creditors.

Francis released an apology statement early Thursday morning, saying, “I deeply regret the remarks attributed to me in the interview with the Hollywood Reporter. They were hurtful and do not reflect my true feelings. … My comments are appalling, but anyone who has ever been wrongfully convicted of a crime that they did NOT commit would be as frustrated as I am. I want to apologize to all the jurors, the court, the City Attorney and my attorneys for my comments that were manipulated by the media, and please know I am truly ashamed of my conduct.”

Updated on May 23 to add Francis’ apology statement.

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