Maybe the Olympics have instilled a little patriotism in Joe Francis. How else to explain why the Girls Gone Wild founder has taken it upon himself to take one for the team, filing a multimillion-dollar lawsuit against his onetime Florida captors, all in the name of American justice?

Francis filed the paperwork in Los Angeles Superior Court today, alleging that the federal judge and opposing attorneys in a 2003 case in Panama City had illegally imprisoned him, worked together to all but hold him ransom in jail while denying him bail and otherwise bilking him into settling several pending legal actions while behind bars.

All told, his legal actions against city officials seek $300 million in compensatory damages.

Francis also took it upon himself to lay out his claims for the world in a video message posted on his official website—filmed complete with American flag backdrop—calling those involved in the circumstances surrounding his jail time a "small-town courthouse gang."

Among other claims of wrongdoing, Francis, who did eventually plead no contest to one count of child abuse and several misdemeanors, alleges that he was not only wrongfully imprisoned, but that Judge Richard Smoak would not allow him to post bail until he made multimillion-dollar deals with attorneys who were former colleagues of the judge.

"That's not justice, and that's not the American way," Francis says in his video.

"I recently experienced an unbelievable miscarriage of justice that made a victim not just of me, but of all Americans who cherish their constitutional right to free expression…if this can happen to me, it can happen to you."

"Panama City officials began their persecution of Joe Francis with open deception, continued with perjury, and concluded with illegal imprisonment," adds Robert E. Barnes, Francis' attorney. "That may be what counts for justice in Panama City, but it's not American justice."

  • Share
  • Tweet
  • Share

We and our partners use cookies on this site to improve our service, perform analytics, personalize advertising, measure advertising performance, and remember website preferences. By using the site, you consent to these cookies. For more information on cookies including how to manage your consent visit our Cookie Policy.