Girls Gone Wild Founder Joe Francis Threatens to Sue Over Stolen Sex Tape
Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis is threatening legal action over a stolen sex tape that is reportedly being shopped to several media outlets.
Francis told TMZ that the footage, which was shot several weeks ago and is being described as "hardcore," was stolen from his longtime girlfriend Abbey Wilson, winner of the Girls Gone Wild 2012 "Search for the Hottest Girl in America."
Francis, who says he had nothing to do with the footage leaking, claims it was taken from Wilson's iPad, which recently was stolen from her bag at the Los Angeles International Airport.
"It is not only unfortunate, but it is a crime," Francis' lawyer, David Houston, told TMZ. "As such, this office will take all necessary steps to determine who in fact has done this and who is attempting to distribute the video."
Houston added that the authorities have been contacted.
"When we catch you, we will see that you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of both the criminal and civil laws," he said.
Francis, 40, also has been embroiled in a slew of other legal troubles. Most recently, he was found guilty in May on three counts of false imprisonment and one of assault likely to cause great bodily injury.
The city attorney said that Francis invited three women to get inside his limo outside Supperclub in Hollywood in 2011. He took them back to his home, refused to let them leave and then "grabbed one of the women by the throat and hair and slammed her head into the tile floor four times," according to the City Attorney's Office. 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 The Hollywood Reporter, maintaining his innocence against allegations by three young women that he took them to his Bel-Air mansion, kept them there and assaulted one. He also railed against the "mentally f--king retarded" jurors in his latest legal dust-up and said they "should all be lined up and shot!" (Watch the video below.)
After the story was published, Francis issued an apology for his "appalling" remarks, 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."
Among Francis' other legal woes: Last year, police said a car collision with a woman in Beverly Hills turned into a physical confrontation, while Playboy model Jayde Nicole previously accused him of physical assault, also at a Hollywood nightclub.