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Joe Francis

Catches $21 MILLION Break

in War with Steve Wynn

11/12/2012 10:55 AM PST BY TMZ STAFF
EXCLUSIVE

1112_joe_francis_steve_wynn1

"Girls Gone Wild" honcho Joe Francis just saved a TON of money ... without even switching to Geico ... 'cause a judge slashed the amount of damages he has to pay Steve Wynn by $21 MILLION, TMZ has learned.

Francis had previously been ordered to fork over $40 million in damages to Wynn for defaming the casino mogul ... after Francis told the media Wynn had threatened to have him killed and buried in the Vegas desert.

Now, a judge has reduced the judgment by $21 million -- ruling that Wynn wasn't really entitled to punitive damages after all.

According to the judge, punitive damages need to be based off the defendants net worth -- and Wynn failed to prove exactly how much money Francis has.

Wynn claims he couldn't come through with a number because Francis is hiding his assets ... but it didn't matter to the judge.

Francis released a statement to TMZ ... calling the ruling a "massive victory" ... and saying he plans to "aggressively appeal the remaining causes of action." Francis says, "Steve may have a winning record stealing the life savings away from working Americans in his safe haven of Las Vegas, but he will not be able to manipulate the California court system” [Read Joe's entire statement after the jump].

Wynn's rep issued a statement to TMZ saying Steve is still "delighted" with the verdict ... adding, "The court upholding the $19 million in damages confirms that Joe Francis made horrible, false accusations against Steve Wynn."


STATEMENT FROM JOE FRANCIS' CAMP:

"Today resulted in a massive victory for Joe Francis, creator of the Girls Gone Wild entertainment brand. Judge Joanne O’Donnell overturned 21-million dollars in damages stemming from the Steve Wynn vs. Joe Francis Defamation trial.

The vindication of Joe Francis was met with enthusiasm by his defense team. After Steve Wynn’s cheating tactics in court illegitimately swayed jurors, the judge realized the course of action was illegal. In order to uphold the integrity of the United States judicial system and ensure that everyone receives due process, Judge O’Donnell amended the jury’s verdict.

During the trial, Steve Wynn’s attorneys presented inadmissible evidence into the case stemming from an interview with Good Morning America. Judge O’Donnell stated in her ruling, “There was no evidence that the plaintiff (Steve Wynn) suffered any ‘shame, mortification or hurt feelings’ as a result of watching the GMA interview of even that he knew of the interview."

Joe Francis plans to aggressively appeal the remaining causes of action totaling 19-million dollars. Mr. Francis’ legal team predicts a 100% chance of success in appealing the remaining part of the case. Additionally, Mr. Francis is expected to win the case in its entirety. Mr. Francis states, “Judge Joanne O’Donnell should have never allowed my in-court statement that Steve Wynn’s threats against my life as evidence because it was made in a courtroom seeking a restraining order against Steve Wynn and therefore, a judicially privileged statement. Judge O’Donnell committed a judicial error by allowing this case to even proceed to a trial and she knows it. This is only the first step of her back peddling and unwinding her illegal actions in order to try to keep her job as a judge.”

Joe Francis finished with, “Steve may have a winning record stealing the life savings away from working American’s in his safe haven of Las Vegas, but he will not be able to manipulate the California court system.”
36 COMMENTS

No Avatar
16.

NOT ELMO    

NEXT !!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!..................

618 days ago
17.

rikki    

Has anyone ever told Joe Francis if he stops smiling for pictures he might get a little better press???

The mans smile is creepier than Tom Cruise's

618 days ago
18.

LightJ    

California court is a big @ss f*cking joke in the world. It's beyond tragic at this point. How do you prove how much money someone has, wtf?? How do you take away half, it's obvious Joe did defame him, how can you even appeal that ruling?? So f*cking STUPID.

618 days ago
19.

MeeMaw    

Steve Wynn is totally being a douche. I'm glad that judge made the right decision and proved that the jurors totally screwed up!

618 days ago
20.

Jo    

Does joe the s*** just make these statements for controversy or what. Like he has a moral leg to stand on. I'd gladly play and have fun in the Wynn hotel that even hold a conversation with that other s***bag. He goes around making asholes out of young girls (partially their own fault) and thinks he gold some type of ground to Wynn who ownes a casino.ive had countless nights of fun on the Wynn casino and regret non can't say I'd be saying that I've I met that joe s***bag at any point in my life. Again I think his statement is just to aggravate and it worked.

618 days ago
21.

Tesla_Consulting    

Don't gamble. Don't care.

618 days ago
22.

djdavis    

Cant these two rich dudes find better use of their time? and money? with war veterans and others who could truly use their attention, instead they waste their time on these games, also tying up our court system. shame

617 days ago
23.

Spicy mag    

Casinos don't steal. People willingly gamble their money. How's he's calling Wynn a theif.

617 days ago
24.

Rex    

Joe Francis is a jerk.

617 days ago
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