Convicted Girls Gone Wild Mogul Joe Francis Breaks Silence: 'Retarded' Jury 'Should Be Shot Dead'

Then Francis is back to explaining why juries hate him: "I have private jets, I have a great life, I'm a good-looking guy. I'm not conceited, but like -- look, I have girls around me all the time, whatever I want. I make a lot of money. It's a great life. If I wasn't me, I'd f--ing hate me."

Actually, despite his braggadocious quotes, he is in person generous, trusting, warm and eager to please, qualities that have endeared him to a Hollywood who's who -- from next-door-neighbor Quincy Jones to CAA's Kevin Huvane to Paris Hilton to the Kardashians.

Francis grew up with three sisters in Laguna Beach, Calif., the son of an entrepreneur and homemaker with whom he has severed all ties.

He got his first big break when he compiled TV outtakes into the video Banned From Television, using innovative direct marketing tools to sell it. Soon after, he filmed young women, often intoxicated, exposing themselves and created the Girls Gone Wild franchise. That made him a millionaire many times over but also opened him up to lawsuits from women who claim they weren't fully cognizant when they signed release forms. He dismisses all the suits against him.

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"I've had 1 percent of all the lawsuits Steven Spielberg has had," he insists. "I was at lunch at Jeffrey Katzenberg's house, and his son David was like, 'You've gotten sued a lot.' We're all playing backgammon. We're at the Malibu house, and I love Jeffrey, and I love David, OK? And then Jeffrey looks at him and goes, 'Son, do you realize how many active lawsuits DreamWorks has against it?' And he goes, 'It's 1,000 lawsuits against DreamWorks right now.' "

Francis doesn't say how much all this has cost him, or how much money he has now -- though he certainly has enough operating capital to pay for six to eight lawyers, the number his criminal defense attorney, David Houston, estimates are working on his various suits. He also has enough to maintain a 40,000-square-foot estate in Punta Mita, Mexico, along with the Bel-Air house, where bottles of Chateau Petrus and other $10,000-plus vintages are in his kitchen.

He spends much of his day working from home and has been trying to get film and television projects off the ground, while working with the Kardashians on a skin care line. It is unclear how involved he remains with GGW or what its financial condition is. (Neilson declined comment.)

Francis' lawyer Houston has been with him since Francis was jailed in Panama City, Fla., in 2007 (he was jailed for contempt of court during talks to settle charges that his cameramen filmed two underage 17-year-old girls exposing themselves). Francis shot back with his own lawsuit against a U.S. District judge, the girls' parents and Bay County officials, alleging there was a conspiracy against him. He noted in his complaint that his story was the kind "Nina Simone sang about; William Faulkner wrote about it; historians teach about it."

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Indeed, they might have, given what came next: "They ended up moving me to death row," he says.

Death row? In Panama City? "Yeah, with all the convicted murderers. I was there on a civil lawsuit. But they wanted to punish me so bad, they put me on death row with all the death row inmates. I was on death row with the murderers for six months. Like, should I take the blue juice? The blue juice is what they'd use [to execute prisoners]. When they would get out for 30 minutes a day, they would come by my cell and talk to me about how they wanted to die."

He gets up to search for the inmates' letters, then changes his mind. "I want to show you their letters. I've never shown anyone these things," he says. "One guy disemboweled his wife and cut out the baby and threw it away. It was awful. These people are awful. They put me on death row with convicted murderers, people that would rape and kill dead bodies. I was in an orange jumpsuit -- shackled and chained in my cell. Death row, that's how it works, man."

(Francis' lawyer Houston later clarifies: "They held him in a wing of that jail that had the most dangerous criminals, potentially headed for death row.")

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