Jail hasn’t changed Joe Francis, says Joel Stein in GQ. In 2003, the creator of the Girls Gone Wild video, series featuring drunken, topless coeds, was charged with more than 70 felonies and misdemeanors, including photographing underage girls, drug trafficking, and racketeering. Most of the counts were dropped, but his defiant behavior—including missing court dates and issuing a press release titled “Judges Gone Wild”—got him cited for contempt. For almost a year, Francis has been locked up in Reno, where he proclaims his innocence on talk radio, flirts with female guards (“Look at that rack! Can you take me home? Call me!”), orders in food, and plots his comeback (“I’m going to own Panama City”). It’s not a bad life, he says. “Nothing will ever happen to me in jail. I’m a god. I’m the cool Girls Gone Wild guy. I’m revered. I’m a rock star.” Francis, 34, vows to fight the system until he’s exonerated. “I’m defiant!” he yells, pounding the glass shield that separates him from visitors. “It’s like that defiant Rosa Parks won’t give up her seat. The ever-defiant Nelson Mandela just can’t stand apartheid. The ever-defiant Martin Luther King. The ever-defiant Jesus Christ. I’m not comparing myself to Rosa Parks or Jesus Christ. I’m comparing myself to someone standing up for their rights.”
Francis behind bars
April 3, 2008
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