Joe Francis Released From Custody

Nikki Tang
LOS ANGELES — Girls Gone Wild CEO Joe Francis was released from custody today after his illness was verified with the court.

The court issued a bench warrant for Francis’s arrest Monday after Francis didn’t appear at his pretrial hearing on tax evasion charges. When he arrived in court five hours late, he was arrested despite his claims of serious illness.

Girls Gone Wild representatives declined comment to XBIZ at time of post, but the company has announced that Francis sent a message to the pretrial officer requesting a postponement on the grounds that he was extremely ill and had strict written orders from his doctor to stay in bed. The officer was not in the office and did not receive Francis’s message, so Francis “got out of bed despite his illness and on the advice of his attorney Mark Werksman,” and headed to the courthouse, only to be arrested.

Once the court received Francis’s message and his doctor’s note, Francis was sent home and granted a postponement. His hearing has been rescheduled for Feb. 11.