Jimmy Flynt Sr., queried last month for the second time in a deposition over the use of the “Flynt” name on Flynt Media Corp. products, said that he asked Jimmy II and Dustin to drop using the name after speaking with brother Larry Flynt earlier this year.
“My boys have not changed the name evidently,” he said at the deposition released publicly Wednesday. “They did not follow my request.”
Larry Flynt and LFP Inc. are suing Jimmy II and Dustin Flynt over the use of Flynt Media Corp. name, claiming it is too similar to their own and that it is likely to cause confusion in the marketplace — even if they do have some bona fide basis for using the name. LFP already has won a preliminary injunction against Flynt Media Corp.
The case, which goes to trial at U.S. District Court in Los Angeles in two weeks, got its legs after the brothers were seen at the Adult Entertainment Expo marketing their new company and showcasing its new line of adult videos.
Jimmy Flynt II, who worked at LFP for 15 years, and Dustin, who worked there for 10 years, started up Flynt Media Corp. in 2008 after being terminated from LFP a year earlier.
In the deposition, Jimmy Flynt Sr. said that he received a series of calls from Larry Flynt after AEE had begun.
“Basically, Larry told me to have the boys drop the name — Flynt — and leave the convention,” he said. "That was the first call.
“And then a second day went by and they were still promoting the company in Vegas and at the time [Larry] informed me that if I didn’t have them drop that name that he was going to cut my pay off … he was going to stop my pay to fund his lawsuit against my boys.”
Jimmy Flynt Sr. admitted that, despite that he says that he talks with both of his sons daily, he has not talked to them about Flynt Media Corp. business.
“They did not discuss with me their projects that they were working on, and they left me out of the circle of business,” he said.
He noted that the “difficult times” started heating up after Flynt Media Corp. “did the launch party” at the Prive club during AEE.
Jimmy Flynt Sr. said that one month after the convention Larry Flynt cut off his pay but left intact his LFP benefits, including health insurance. But Larry Flynt also sent Jimmy Flynt Sr. a check for $10,000 to help pay bills.
At the deposition, Jimmy Flynt Sr. described that he and his brother are “pretty much synonymous together.”
“Larry’s famous for different things than I am: Being infamous, being outrageous, a rogue-type individual. He is an infamous guy and I am a famous guy. I have stood beside him and been part of him for 40 years," he said. “[W]e have always been … protective of one another, and we have always been brothers and shared in the ups and downs of business.”
Jimmy Flynt Sr. also described how he and his brother entered the adult entertainment business in 1969.
“I returned from Vietnam in April of 1969 and my brother and I opened a club in November of 1969, which is 40 years [old],” he said. “[I] was 20 years old and that was my first venture … in the world of erotica."
Jimmy Flynt Sr. and Larry Flynt later opened several clubs in Ohio before starting up Hustler magazine in 1974, in which he initially took the title of co-publisher.
In the 1990s, Jimmy Flynt Sr. started up and opened the Hustler retail stores, with the first location in Cincinnati.
Jimmy Flynt Sr., who noted that it was he who coined the phrase “Relax … It’s Just Sex,” said that the opening of the retail stores helped catapult the entire Hustler brand.
A transcript of the Jimmy Flynt Sr.’s deposition was made public after Flynt Media Corp. counsel asked a federal judge to add Jimmy Flynt Sr. as a witness for trial and added the Oct. 21 deposition as an exhibit. The plaintiffs, LFP and Larry Flynt, have refused to stipulate an amendment to the defense’s witness list.
If the judge approves of Flynt Media’s request, the defendant witness list will include LFP’s Larry Flynt, Michael Klein, Jeff Thill, Brad Eels and Theresa Flynt. It also would include Dustin Flynt, Jimmy Flynt II, Jimmy Flynt Sr. and Mark Mauceri.
A pre-trial conference has been scheduled for Monday, with trial to begin Dec. 8.