'Girls Gone' Owner Claims Shakedown

Rhett Pardon
MIAMI – "Girls Gone Wild" producer Joe Francis filed a $25 million lawsuit Monday against a Texas woman who accused him of drugging and raping her at the Ritz-Carlton hotel in Miami.

Francis in his defamation suit also is asking the court to award him $36 he says he spent on hamburgers and fries for the woman and her friend that accompanied him to his hotel room.

Francis, who owns Santa Monica, Calif.-based Mantra Entertainment, sells “Girls Gone Wild” directly to customers it lures with TV ads, infomercials and an interactive website. Last year the company sold a reported 4.5 million videos and DVDs, selling for up to $19.99 each.

According to the suit filed in Miami-Dade County, Francis met the 21-year-old woman at the Mynt nightclub in Miami and invited her and a friend, referred in the complaint as Amy Doe and Jane Doe, to his hotel room. Francis said in court papers that both women were asked to have their identification checked by his bodyguard to confirm their legal ages. He also contends that only one of the women drank and neither were offered drugs.

One of the women, a college student, told police that she blacked out at the hotel and believes she was drugged and raped.

After waking in bed beside Francis in the morning, the woman claimed in a police report, she drove herself to a clinic.

The woman made the allegations to a Miami Herald reporter, which printed the story in mid March.

“He only had consensual sex,” publicist Terry Fahn said at the time.

The suit in detail claims what Francis says happened that evening and the next morning, including the consumption of “medium rare” hamburgers and fries the women ate.

"I not only want to be compensated for $25 million for damages to my reputation and my business caused by these absurd allegations, but I also want to be reimbursed for the $36 I spent on the hamburgers and fries these women devoured before they left my hotel room,” Francis said in a press release sent to XBiz. “If she was going to make up a story that she had been raped, she should have mentioned it before she asked me to buy her and a friend lunch."