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Georgia Woman Drops Suit Against GGW, Francis on Eve of Trial

Georgia Woman Drops Suit Against GGW, Francis on Eve of Trial
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Aug 5, 2008 7:00 AM PDT    Text size: 
PANAMA CITY, Fla. — Brittany Pitts, a Gerogia woman who sued GGW and Francis last year for allegedly filming her topless on a Florida beach in 2002 when she was 16 years old, has dropped her suit on the eve of the trial, which was to commence yesterday.

Pitts had claimed that she had not consented to be filmed, but a GGW press release issued Friday stated that the video Pitts appears in clearly shows that she did give her consent on camera.

U.S. District Judge Richard Smoak, who last year jailed Francis for 11 months after concluding that Francis had made a phony settlement offer in a 2003 lawsuit, then reneging on the agreement, dismissed Pitts claim after assuring himself that the current settlement was in fact a done deal.

"The defendant has already signed the documents?" Smoak asked plaintiff's attorney Mark Casto. "I certainly don't want to get to a déjà vu all over again."

As part of the settlement, Francis paid no money to Pitts but agreed not to sue her if she issued a public apology. Pitt's one sentence compliance with that request is also contained in the release.

"I, Brittany Pitts have agreed to dismiss my lawsuit and acknowledge that no money has been paid to me by the defendants as damages," she wrote.

The current turnabout by a former litigant is the second major reversal that favors Francis. Former Spitzer call girl Ashley Dupre last month dropped a lawsuit she had filed against Francis that alleged he had ruined her reputation by releasing footage of her taken during spring break in Florida in 2003.

"This is yet another example of false allegations that my company and I have faced," Francis said. "I am tired of these lies being said about me in an attempt to extort money and destroy my name. I will fight back, and will defend myself against every one of these groundless accusations. I am ready to sue any individual or lawyer who brings unsubstantiated allegations against me."

Ironically, Dupre, Francis and his parent company, Mantra Films, are all being sued in federal court by a New Jersey woman, who claims that Dupre used her lost driver's license to appear in a GGW video.

Francis also recently pleaded not guilty to federal tax evasion charges in a district court in Los Angeles. Francis claims that his former accountant, Michael Barrett, is to blame for mishandled GGW tax filings. Francis has sued Barrett for fraud, claiming that the CPA neglected to alert his employer to the mistakes, and instead contacted the IRS in order to collect a reward offered by the agency in exchange for information on tax cheats.

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