GIRLS GONE WILD creator JOE FRANCIS has been ordered to pay off a $2 million gambling debt.
Bosses at casino resort Wynn Las Vegas, who took the porn mogul to court over the outstanding money, argued that he had refused to cooperate at a court deposition in February (09).
He was accused of disrespecting the legal proceedings by passing gas while testifying and refusing to admit whether he had a cell phone - despite answering a call on his phone.
And when Francis was asked if he could understand English during the proceedings, he read aloud the Fifth Amendment from the Bill of Rights, which allows him to refuse to testify, from a card handed to him by a lawyer.
He also pleaded the Fifth when asked about his earlier allegations that Wynn bosses had provided him with prostitutes to increase his gambling debts in February 2007, declining to answer whether they were male or female or if he’d had sex with them.
But attorneys for the gambling firm argued the adult filmmaker had improperly used the Fifth Amendment and, as a result, District Judge Michelle Leavitt ruled in favor of the casino and ordered Francis to pay the $2 million debt, which, with interest and legal fees, could total as much as $3 million.
The deposition had to be carried out in the kitchen of a California community centre because he’s not allowed to travel outside the state, where he is also facing an ongoing tax evasion case.
He is expected to appeal the ruling. (KD/WNWCHP/PAW)