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Joe Francis Apologizes for 'Appalling' Interview With The Hollywood Reporter

UPDATED: The Girls Gone Wild founder says: "I am not, nor have I ever been a violent person."

Joe Francis is apologizing for "appalling" remarks he made in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter, where the Girls Gone Wild founder railed against "mentally f--king retarded" jurors in his latest legal dust-up and said they "should all be lined up and shot!"

Francis issued a statement Thursday, 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. While I disagree with the jury's verdict as I am completely innocent of the charges and intend to appeal, I was afforded a fair trial, and if I lose at the appellate level, I will reluctantly but fully accept the jury's verdict."

Earlier this month, the 40-year-old mogul and controversy magnet (behold: his long criminal rap sheet) was found guilty on three counts of false imprisonment and one of assault likely to cause great bodily injury. He faces a maximum of five years in prison when he is sentenced in July. The day after a Los Angeles jury revealed their verdict, a fuming Francis sat down with THR, maintaining his innocence against allegations by three young women that he took them to his Bel-Air mansion, kept them there and even assaulted one.

STORY: Joe Francis Breaks Silence: 'Retarded' Jury 'Should Be Shot Dead'

"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 shouted. "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!"

After THR published video of the Francis interview along with a print story on Wednesday, one of the 12 men and women who convicted him spoke to Gawker to share details of the trial. The person, whose identity was not revealed, said the decision to convict rested on the "emotional testimonies" of the women, noting: "The 911 calls from that night, the several of them, would be harrowing for a lot of people to hear – not necessarily the jurors or people in the courtroom, but people in general."

But Francis, in his mea culpa, states: "I am not, nor have I ever been a violent person. 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. I am truly, truly sorry. I hope everyone will understand I was not being serious and that I fully and deeply apologize for my remarks."

PHOTOS: Tax Evader and Accused Jailbaiter: Inside Joe Francis' Criminal Charges

For more on Francis, check out THR's explosive profile, wherein the entrepreneur also takes on nemesis Steve Wynn, whom he calls a "piece of s--t," and his numerous "jealous" critics: "Look at their penis and tell me if it's small."

His full statement, below:

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. While I disagree with the jury's verdict as I am completely innocent of the charges and intend to appeal, I was afforded a fair trial, and if I lose at the appellate level, I will reluctantly but fully accept the jury's verdict. This was a 6 hour interview with the Hollywood reporter where I detailed to the reporter all of the evidence and why I believed the evidence showed I am 100% innocent. The reporter also interviewed my attorney David Houston for over 3 hours, but failed to include one shred of evidence from the trial that proved beyond a reasonable doubt my innocence. I did NOT commit a crime at all whatsoever. All that was publicized were my most intemperate remarks that were borne out of frustration but with no intent to cause anyone harm. I am not, nor have I ever been a violent person. 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. I am truly, truly sorry. I hope everyone will understand I was not being serious and that I fully and deeply apologize for my remarks.

Twitter: @ErinLCarlson

Email: erin.carlson@thr.com