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Girls Gone Wild Sued For Filming Minors

Girls Gone Wild Sued For Filming Minors

Joe Francis, smut peddler and producer of the “Girls Gone Wild” video is facing yet another lawsuit, only this one has raised some complicated constitutional questions.  Attorneys for four women who were between 13 and 17 when footage of them was shot and later used by Francis, has asked the 11th Circuit Court of Appeals to allow them to move forward with their civil suit against Francis anonymously.  Lawyers for the women, who are now in their 20s, have argued that keeping their identities private would spare them from unnecessary humiliation.

According to the complaint, filed in federal court in Florida in March 2008, Francis exploited the plaintiffs by filming them flashing their breasts and engaging in other sexual activities while in Panama City, Fla.  While the allegations don’t come right out an say it, the implication is that the women (teenagers at the time) were plied with alcohol to encourage the behavior.  Once the videos were released the women were ridiculed, ostracized and forced to leave school.

But lawyers for Francis and some representatives of press outlets in Florida have fought keeping the identity of the women private.  They argue that news organizations have a right to know the names of the plaintiffs in a case of wide national interests.  Journalists, they argue, should have the right to exercise discretion in publishing information such as the names of the plaintiffs if that journalist or news outlet deems the information newsworthy.

Perhaps those arguments would carry more weight had Francis not already pleaded guilty to criminal charges related to one of the plaintiffs and had a conviction in Florida state court of coercing another one of the plaintiffs into prostitution as a minor for paying her $50 to appear on camera.  Plaintiffs are not asking the court to forbid news outlets from covering the trial, just to keep the names of the victim sealed.  It’s hard to find any real harm to news outlets under these facts and harder still to see the tactics by Francis and his legal team as anything less than a strong-armed attempt at further humiliating and degrading the plaintiffs.

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photo courtesy of mrbill via Flickr

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1:25AM PST on Nov 16, 2010

This is one reason why I hate everything about the sex industry. It's nothing but pure vulgarity, sickness! It's destroying the lives of so many young people. :( But 17 years old, that's a legal adult in most states so she had to have known better. It's her own fault for showing herself. A 17 yr old knows better! A 13 year old, not so much.

1:04AM PDT on Nov 7, 2010

How about instead of trying to divert the issue, Joe Francis just accepts responsibility that he used minors for his smut?

Anyone under 18 stripping or doing anything sexual is considered kiddie porn and is illegal. Stop trying to get out of it. Arrest him and charge him. This is why we need April's Law. Until perpetrators can be held accountable for their actions, the situation will never be fixed.

Federal:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/worldwide-petition-for-aprils-law-in-the-us/

State:
http://www.thepetitionsite.com/1/aprils-law-wisconsin/

It's because between these pervs who want the kiddie stuff and the fact that criminals like Joe Francis who insist that it's their first amendment right to produce stuff like this is why girls get sexualized and abused. This needs to stop. Just because they're women now isn't the issue. It doesn't matter how old they are NOW. They were MINORS... CHILDREN... and were used for sexual purposes. Take responsibility NOW.

9:16AM PDT on Nov 3, 2010

How sad, that there are people in the world and especially here in the United States that contribute to such a large part of the porn problem world wide. Our country is going from a beacon of light to the people of the world. To quickly becoming a harbinger of human greed and the darkness of the heart, which is the unending exploitation of women!

“An estimated 211 new pornographic films are made every week in the United States”- Wikipedia

Pornography by region

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

United States
Main article: Pornography in the United States

“In the United States, pornography is a large industry that involves major entertainment companies such as Time Warner, which profits from pornography through its cable channels and in-room movies in hotels. Pornography distribution changed radically during the 1980s, with VHS and cable television largely displacing X-rated theaters. VHS distribution, in turn, is in the process of being replaced by DVD and Internet distribution for niche markets.”- Wikipedia

“Pornography generates billions of dollars in sales in the United States alone, and economists have suggested that it has now reached the point where the outlawing of the industry, which has been tried on occasion, could have a major negative economic impact. An outright ban, it is feared, might spark a rise in organized crime similar to that during Prohibition.[citation needed]”- Wikipedia

http://en.wikipedia.org/wik

6:49PM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

This is about the third or fourth time I'm reading about legal difficulties with Girls Gone Wild filming minories or airing film without the proper sign-offs. When are they going to close down this operation given that it just keeps on breaking the law over and over?

6:38PM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

Hifary B. Reguardless of your personal attacks on me or my republican public school eduction. If indeed these poor children (well under the leagal age of 21) are in a bar. They need to be arrested. We blame the bar, We blame the beer they drank. . We blame socite. We blame the school. We blame their parents. We blame everyone but the one person that was in the wrong that needs to be question about why she was acting like a fool in frount of a camera. Now dont try to miss direct the question. WHY WAS SHE THERE AND WHY WOULD SHE BE PREFORMING IN FROUNT OF A CAMERA IF SHE DIDNT WANT TO BE SEEN.

1:56PM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

Roy Perry: Your spelling is atrocious and so are your beliefs. So young girls should learn by being exploited. They should be punished for being ignorant. I guess by that logic, so should you. Unfortunately, it is ignorance like yours that keeps society blaming the victim, not the perpetrator. Hello! These are minors and adults that aren't old enough to know better. Heck, there are adults who get exploited. The point is that all exploitation is bad, and are you dumb enough to believe that GGW aren't predators? They are the ones that have no morals. We are supposed to protect young girls and women by teaching them to protect themselves from scumbags; but the truth is that they are often abused at home at that is why they are easy to exploit. We also have to see GirlsGoneWild and other exploitation of women on TV all the time, giving young girls the impression that this is normal. Get this straight: young women without self esteem plus alcohol supplied by predators = crime.

12:05PM PDT on Nov 1, 2010

Children should be taught sex education at home. this has been the cry of the christen moral hipicrates for genations. But when one of thier kids dont know better they want to sue everone. Where were they when there child was out drinking. How did their child get into a place that was selling booze. Where were thier attatudes of hollier than tho hold up when thier child was exposed to the real world.The guy is a scumb bag ther are a lot of scumb bags out there. If you dont warn your child about them because you dont think your litte girl would do such a thing. This is what happens. The best taught lessons in life comes with pain. Sorry but you should not be drinking at that age. Mommy and daddy cant potect you if you lie to them about where you are going. Dont blame the world because you child acted like a slut on cramera blame her.

11:14PM PDT on Oct 31, 2010

Girls Gone Wild is as tasteless as they come.

8:37PM PDT on Oct 31, 2010

Joe Francis is such a classless boor!!!!

7:12PM PDT on Oct 31, 2010

If these young women were between the ages of 13 and 17, according to the law they were minors and exploited. There is no need to release their names, humiliate them, and allow the media to feed like sharks on this incident.

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