Girls Gone Wild Founder Hit With Another $20M Verdict

Steve Wynn now owed $40M by 'digital assassin'

By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff

Posted Sep 12, 2012 1:31 AM CDT

(Newser) – Bad-mouthing casino mogul Steve Wynn has cost Joe Francis $20 million for the second day in a row. A jury awarded Wynn $20 million in punitive damages in his defamation lawsuit against the Girls Gone Wild founder yesterday, after awarding him $20 million in compensatory damages Monday, reports the Los Angeles Times. Wynn, who sued after Francis claimed he had threatened to have him killed over a gambling debt, plans to donate the money to charity, TMZ reports.

"Joe Francis represents a new kind of criminal type: the digital assassin. He takes advantage of the protection afforded by the Internet to issue intentionally destructive charges against someone’s reputation," Wynn said in a statement. "Thank God for the justice system that finally sent a message: If you think you’re taking a cheap shot, it may be a lot more expensive than you had imagined."

Joe Francis attends the House of Hype Music Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel last week.
Joe Francis attends the House of Hype Music Awards at the Beverly Hills Hotel last week.   (Photo by Arnold Turner/Invision/AP, File)
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