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Girls Gone Wild... gone bankrupt

Posted By GABRIELLE LEVY, UPI.com   |   March 1, 2013 at 9:41 AM   |   Comments

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March 1 (UPI) -- Film company Girls Gone Wild has filed for bankruptcy in an attempt to shield creator Joe Francis from paying out millions he owes after a defamation suit.

Francis--the man behind all those trashy videos of drunken co-eds flashing the camera--was ordered to pay $19 million for claiming casino mogul Steve Wynn was out to kill him.

The bankruptcy filing is an attempt to shield Francis from personal debt.

According to court documents, Girls Gone Wild Brands owes $16 million in disputed claims--$10 from the Wynn defamation case and another $6 million to a woman who sued for unwillingly being put into one of Francis's videos.

Tamara Favazza was awarded $5.8 million after she had her shirt pulled down and later found out she was in Girls Gone Wild Sorority Orgy 2.

But if Favazza's suit seems in line with expectations for the soft porn stylings of Francis and Girls Gone Wild, the case brought by Wynn couldn't be stranger.

Wynn took Francis to court in 2009 after Francis reportedly refused to pay $2 million in gambling debt to Wynn's Las Vegas Casino. During one of the hearings, Francis accused Wynn of threatening to harm him.

“Wynn threatened to kill me. He said he would hit me in the back of the head with a shovel and bury me in a hole in the desert,” Francis told TMZ.

Wynn sued for defamation, and won when musician Quincy Jones testified against Francis's claims of emails containing Wynn's threats. The jury awarded Wynn $40 million, cut down to $20 million by the judge.

Those hoping the bankruptcy would mark the end of the sleazy video empire will likely be disappointed: a spokesman for the company said the bankruptcy filing is an effort to "restructure its legal affairs."

"Girls Gone Wild remains strong as a company and strong financially."

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