Joe Francis apologizes for his 'appalling' comments

May 24, 2013 at 9:18 AM
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LOS ANGELES, May 24 (UPI) -- Joe Francis says he is sorry he told The Hollywood Reporter the jury that convicted him of false imprisonment is retarded and should be euthanized.

"I deeply regret the remarks attributed to me in the interview with The Hollywood Reporter," the 40-year-old Girls Gone Wild founder said in a statement Thursday.

"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," he wrote.

"This was a 6-hour interview with The Hollywood Reporter where I detailed to the reporter all of the evidence and why I believed the evidence showed I am 100 percent innocent.

"The reporter also interviewed my attorney David Houston for over 3 hours but failed to include one shred of evidence from the trial that proved beyond a reasonable doubt my innocence," he said. "I did not commit a crime at all whatsoever. All that was publicized were my most intemperate remarks that were borne out of frustration but with no intent to cause anyone harm. I am not, nor have I ever been a violent person. My comments are appalling, but anyone who has ever been wrongfully convicted of a crime that they did not commit would be as frustrated as I am."

Francis was found guilty this month after a two-week trial of three counts of false imprisonment, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting and one count of assault causing great bodily injury.

The charges stem from a Jan. 29, 2011, incident, in which Francis grabbed a woman he met at the Supper Club in Hollywood and pulled her into his limo. Two of her friends followed, thinking Francis would give them a ride to their car, but instead he took them to his gated home for a party and, they said, wouldn't let them leave, leading to physical altercations with the women.

Francis said in his statement Thursday the women "were proven liars" at the trial when 20 eyewitnesses testified in his defense.

Francis said the women's claims that they couldn't escape because they had no cellphone service were disproved when records showed more than 100 telephone calls and incoming and outgoing text messages had been exchanged with friends, family, and boyfriends during the time in question.

Francis said he was frustrated by the outcome of the trial but is "truly ashamed of my comments and how they were taken out of context.

"I am truly, truly sorry. I hope everyone will understand I was not being serious and that I fully and deeply apologize for my remarks. And I ask for people's understanding if they were in my position."

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