The Girls Gone Wild founder says in a statement that he expects the verdict to be overturned on appeal due to a judicial error.
The war is not over, so Joe Francis warns his opponent Steve Wynn. The Girls Gone Wild founder is required by court to pay the casino mogul a total of $40 million in damages, but he is determined to fight back and overturn the verdict on appeal.
Joe was sued for falsely accusing Steve of threatening to kill him over a $2 million gambling debt. In his defense, Joe claimed Quincy Jones informed him about the threat, but the Grammy-winning music producer denied it when taking the witness stand.
The X-rated video supplier was later ordered to pay the casino owner $20 million for causing emotional distress and injury to his reputation and another $20 million in punitive damages for the defamation. Steve said he would donate the money to charity.
Joe took to his official website to blast the verdict. "I am incredibly disappointed the jury grossly misinterpreted the facts presented in the courtroom," he said. "I still maintain my life was endangered and I plan on appealing this verdict."
"The alleged 'defamation' was a result of my request in a courtroom for a restraining order against Steve Wynn. I made this request because I was afraid for my life. Numerous people, not just Quincy Jones, told me that Steve Wynn was threatening to kill me."
He concluded, "No one would seek court protection if they had to fear for their life while at the same time fear getting sued for millions of dollars by a bully like Steve Wynn. ALSO after the alleged 'defamation' of Steve Wynn his net worth has gone up 500-million-dollars during the worst economy in history. How could Steve Wynn be financially damaged by the alleged defamatory statements?"
In return, Steve called Joe a "digital assassin." He said, "His actions present a new challenge to society created by technology and the instantaneous news cycle. The inflammatory information goes up instantly and stays forever, unchallenged and unproven, to the misery and detriment of any citizen that is a victim."