Joseph R. Francis is an American businessman, producer of motion pictures, and the brainchild behind the Girls Gone Wild entertainment brand. He was born on April 1, 1973.
Joe Francis illustrated biography
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American businessman, producer of films, and inventor of the Girls Gone Wild entertainment brand Joseph R. Francis was born on April 1, 1973.
Before the 1998 release of the direct-to-video picture Banned from Television, Francis worked as a production assistant on Real T.V.’s syndicated program.
Francis has previously entered no-contest pleas to charges of child abuse and prostitution and has been found guilty of tax evasion, bribery, false imprisonment, assault inflicting grave bodily injury, and record-keeping offenses.
2. Joe Francis’s Early life and career
Joe Francis born on April 1, 1973, in Atlanta, Georgia, to Austrian-born Maria and Raymond Francis.
Francis claims his family relocated to Newport Beach, California, when he was seven.
From there, he attended Our Lady Queen of Angels Catholic Elementary School and several boarding institutions.
He resided at Laguna Beach for a while and went to Laguna Beach High School. His very first job was at a video and computer store.
Francis studied business administration at the University of Southern California and focused on entrepreneurship at the Lloyd Greif Centre for Entrepreneurial Studies.
Additionally, he took several film and television classes, earning a Bachelor’s degree from the USC Entrepreneurial Programme in 1995.
3. Joe Francis’s Rise to fame and significant achievements
Francis’s first business idea started while working as a production assistant for the syndicated reality television program Real T.V.
This program included footage of remarkable events typically not covered by mainstream news.
Francis developed the concept for Banned from Television there.
During his tenure there, people who worked in the studio at Real T.V. frequently watched footage of violent assaults, car accidents, and other gruesome incidents.
Francis obtained the film under license, which he sold through the infomercials-marketed Banned from Television videos.
In 1998, the first Banned from Television video was launched, and the same year saw the release of two sequels.
Some of the most well-known events were depicted in the series, including the murder of Luis Donaldo Colosio, the rampage of Tyke, the circus elephant, the executions of Roberto Girón and Pedro Castillo, the fire at the Royal Jomtien Resort Hotel, and the passing of Mary T. Wojtyla, an Illinois woman, at the hands of a speeding train.
There was also a video of the deaths of motorcycle stunt riders Corey Scott and Butch Laswell, as well as the shootings of Pete Shrum, Lea Mek, Terry Rossland, and Rodolfo Hernandez in 1990, the 1998 California hostage crisis, and the deaths of Slick Johnson and Mike Staley in the 1990 Lucas Oil 200 (ARCA) race.
Francis ended the series after three films because he found it too upsetting to watch them back-to-back due to the gruesome material of the flicks.
While reviewing material for Banned from Television, Francis stumbled across a video of female college students flashing their breasts during spring break and Mardi Gras.
This video served as the catalyst for Francis’s subsequent business venture with Girls Gone Wild.
Girls Gone Wild
In 1997, Francis started employing direct-response marketing, like infomercials, to promote his produced DVDs, and this was when the Girls Gone Wild business was born.
The college-aged women in the recordings voluntarily displayed their bodies or acted erratically for the camera.
Girls Gone Wild generated over $20 million in its first two years. Francis had created 83 distinct Girls Gone Wild titles by the time 2002 rolled around, and she was broadcasting 30-minute infomercials on all the major US networks.
To aid Hurricane Katrina victims, the firm intended to donate 100% of the proceeds from the 2005 sales of DVDs with Mardi Gras themes to the Red Cross.
Francis’s long-term girlfriend is Abbey Wilson, who took first place in Girls Gone Wild’s “Search for the Hottest Girl in America” in 2012.
The two appeared in season three of the Couples Therapy reality series on VH1.
2013 saw the theft of Wilson’s iPad, which contained explicit videos of Francis and Wilson.
David Houston, Francis’s attorney, threatened retaliation by declaring, “When we catch you, we will see that you are prosecuted to the fullest extent of both the criminal and civil laws.”
This was done to stop the tape from being distributed before it was sold to media outlets.
Through in vitro fertilization, Wilson became pregnant with twins in 2014. She gave birth to two girls on October 7, 2014.
4. Joe Francis’s Legal issues
Ashley Alexandra Dupré filed a lawsuit against Francis and his company in June 2007, alleging they had filmed her without her knowledge;
however, once Francis made the footage public, she dropped the case.
The following year, Girls Gone Wild was sued by four women for allegedly photographing them while they were minors.
When Francis asked a plaintiff during cross-examination if she was a prostitute, the judge issued a citation for contempt of court and fined him $2,500.
This occurred during a portion of the trial where Francis represented himself. On the same day, Francis hired two solicitors to represent him during his trial.
Judge Mark Denton of Clark County, Nevada, ordered businessman Steve Wynn $7.5 million in February 2012 as restitution for Francis’ defamatory remarks.
In a slander action against Francis in which Francis claimed that Wynn had threatened to kill him over a gambling debt, a jury gave Wynn a $20 million verdict in September 2012.
All of Francis’ witnesses denied having overheard Wynn making such threats. The jury increased the punitive damages by $20 million.
Judge Joanne O’Donnell lowered Wynn’s judgment to $19 million in November 2012 because the jury’s decision was “speculative” and predicated on their disapproval of Francis.
Francis agreed to pay a 2003 lawsuit involving accusations of filming teenage females’ exposed breasts as part of his no-contest plea to child abuse and prostitution charges in January 2015.
5. Joe Francis’s Criminal Issues
Francis filed a lawsuit against the Panama City Beach, Florida, authorities for breaching his First Amendment rights in 2003 after they tried to stop the filming of Girls Gone Wild.
The same authorities detained Francis for racketeering but were later released on bond.
At a hearing in July 2006, the judge rejected most of the evidence, and in January 2007, most of the charges were dropped.
Francis admitted to maintaining inaccurate records;
he was fined $1.6 million and given a community service requirement.
Later, Francis entered a guilty plea for having illegal items in his cell. He received 339 days in prison and approximately $60,000 in fines.
Francis was charged with five counts total—three misdemeanor counts of false confinement, one offense of assault resulting in grievous bodily harm, and one count of intimidating a witness—after inviting a group of three ladies to his house in January 2011.
Francis was found guilty of every accusation on May 6, 2013.
He might have received a fine of $13,000 or a maximum sentence of five years in jail. Francis interviewed The Hollywood Reporter on May 22, describing the jurors as “mentally… retarded” and that they “should be euthanized.” Later, he said he was sorry for what he had said but claimed the media had misled him.
Francis was given a sentence on August 27, 2013, that included a year of psychological counseling, at least 270 days in county jail along with 36 months of probation, and completing a Level 3 Anger Management course. Francis’ lawyers right away submitted a petition for a new trial.
Francis was given a 336-day prison term on March 25, 2015, after pleading not guilty to allegations of child abuse and prostitution.
Francis was charged with two tax evasion charges by a grand jury in Reno, Nevada, in April 2007. According to the Department of Justice, Francis allegedly filed business forms in 2002 and 2003 with over $20 million in erroneous deductions.
In April 2008, the trial was transferred to the Central District of California’s United States District Court.
In a July 2008 hearing, Francis entered a not-guilty plea to tax evasion.
His lawyer, Robert Bernhoft, said that Francis needed to be shown the tax reports that a former accountant had prepared and filed for the companies.
When the accountant left the company, according to Bernhoft, he reported the returns to the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to be eligible for a reward under the Tax Whistleblower Programme.
Francis pleaded guilty to two misdemeanor counts of filing a false return and bribery in September 2009.
He was given time-served credit. U.S. District Judge S. James Otero approved Francis’s plea deal in November 2009, which included a $250,000 payment to the IRS as restitution.
6. Joe Francis’s net worth
Joe Francis is an American businessman and movie producer with a fortune of $25 million.
Joe’s actual net worth at any given time is only possible after a decade of legal and financial ups and downs. He has been living in exile in Mexico since 2015.
He allegedly departed the U.S. to escape the repercussions of several lawsuits and court rulings.
This page will provide much more information about these lawsuits and rulings later.
His home is an estate with 40,000 square feet of specially constructed space known as Casa Aramara in the Mexican town of Punta Mita, 10 miles north of Puerto Vallarta.
His Mexican house is often rented out for $35,000 per NIGHT and is valued at $10–15 million!
7. Joe Francis’s personal life
About his family, Joe Francis tends to keep things on a low profile when it comes to his family; thus, there isn’t much information accessible about his family.
He does, however, have a younger sibling who goes by the name of Abbey Wilson Francis.
Joe Francis has also been involved in several well-known relationships throughout his career.
He started dating actress and model Abbey Wilson in 2010, and the two later declared their engagement in 2013. In 2014, they welcomed twin daughters.
Joe Francis married his long-time journalist girlfriend, Christina McLarty, in 2021.
They had been together since 2010 and had two kids in the meantime, Francis is a son, and Mia is a daughter the pair has together.
Besides this, Joe Francis has yet to share much information about his personal or family history in the media.
Joe Francis also spent $6 million in 2002 on a property in Bel-Air.
Due to Francis’ legal issues, the property was foreclosed for a number of years before being sold at auction to Steve Wynn in 2019.
It was valued at $6.7 million when Francis lost the house to Wynn.
On the other hand, the IRS quickly intervened and purchased the property from Wynn for $9 million. The IRS later sold the property to Francis’ former next-door neighbor, Bassam Alghanim.
In conclusion, Joe Francis’ net worth has been a topic of interest and speculation for many years. Despite legal troubles and controversies throughout his career, he has managed to accumulate a significant amount of wealth.
While his net worth has fluctuated over the years, it is clear that Francis has established himself as a successful entrepreneur and businessman.