Screenshot from MeetJoeFrancis.com
Joe Francis, the head of the The Girls Gone Wild franchise, has been in jail since February of this year on multiple charges including sexual performance with a minor in Florida and contempt of court. He started out in a Florida prison, where he was said to be experiencing anxiety attacks and weeping uncontrollably. He was transfered to a Reno, Nevada county jail on federal tax evasion charges where he is more comfortable and is said to be enjoying privileges including using the phone whenever he wants.
It looks like Francis has been able to use a laptop with high speed Internet in jail, because he’s launched a massive website touting what a nice guy he is and how much he has done for charity. He tells the story of how he was jailed and blames it entirely on circumstances and other people, saying that if it happened to him, it could happen to you, an average person who isn’t exploiting women for immense profit. Joe is trying to counter articles like this one, in which a journalist details how he assaulted and harassed her and raped an underage girl, which is currently the fifth Google result for his name.
The site is ridiculously detailed, and includes 18 pages of a thorough biography in which Francis expounds on his background, including being sent to boarding school at an early age and getting kicked out of military school in five days, something he brags about.
There is a certain kind of kid who actually enjoys military school. I hope I never meet that kid. For me, the academy was a preposterous and intolerable collection of arbitrary rules and silly, quasi-military posturing. I couldn’t take it seriously for a second. When we were rudely awakened at 4 a.m. and ordered out of our bunks, I turned over and said, “Forget it.” When a dorm sergeant took a brass belt buckle I’d just polished, spit on it, handed it back to me and said, “Do it again,” I tossed the buckle back to him and said, “ I already polished it. You want it polished again, do it yourself.” I was grabbed by the neck and marched to the school “commandant” for a disciplinary meeting. The commandant ordered me to stand at attention. I didn’t hear him; I was staring at the ribbons on his chest. “Something wrong, boy?” He asked. I shrugged. “I’m just wondering what all those little ribbons are for. You’ve never been in the actual military, so what are those? Pretend ribbons?”
The commandant stared at me for a long beat. I smiled back. He turned in his chair and picked up the phone. He dialed my parents. Without taking his eyes off me, he told them that their son had just set a new school record. “No one had ever been kicked out of this academy in just five days,” he said, scowling in my direction. My response was to slip my hands into my pockets, slouch even further, and give him back the biggest shit-eating grin I could muster.
In the 10 page FAQ section, he talks about his private jet, says he wants to have children someday and gives slick answers that reveal that he plays the game well but doesn’t really give a shit about anyone other than himself:
Q: Do you really have a private jet?
A: Yes. I took my first ride in a private jet about six years ago, and found the freedom of the whole experience so amazing that I bought a Falcon jet three weeks later. The first trip I took on my plane was to Lake Tahoe. I was 27, and my buddy Mark and I laughed the whole way like a couple of giddy frat guys. It truly is the only way to fly. Nine months later, I upgraded to a Gulfstream.
Q: What part of the country has the hottest girls?
A: My experience has been that anytime you go south of the Mason Dixon line, the girls seem to get more attractive. But I don’t think it really matters where you go because how many 19-year-old girls are ugly?
Q: Have you ever had your heart broken?
A: Sure, but it helps ease the pain when you get as much as I’ve gotten in my life.
Q: What’s next? Do you have any major goals?
A: My primary goal is to have a family. I see that as my next big challenge. I will always have business goals – it’s part of the game – but there isn’t one overriding accomplishment I am aiming for. In my view, a man who raises a happy and healthy family is far more successful than a man who has only managed to acquire wealth. So, in that sense, I hope my greatest legacy will be my family.
Amid all his verbal posturing he makes some very good points in the legal section as to why he should not be in jail and how he was unfairly targeted and made an example of by the judge. The most telling thing is the judge who sent him to jail for contempt of court used to be a partner of one of the lawyers suing him for millions:
It just so happens that Judge Smoak is the ex-law partner of Ross McCloy, one of the lawyers seeking millions of dollars from Francis for the women in the case. They were both partners in a law firm called Harrison, Sale, Smoak and McCloy. Interestingly, Judge Smoak’s other law partner was Franklin Harrison, who was the attorney that represented the sheriff’s department when Francis successfully sued the sheriff’s department and won his jet back.
The thing is, this revelation is on the fifth page of a ten page legal section after a lengthy introduction. He had a good idea to launch a PR campaign, but most of his message is lost amid all those excuses and words. He should have hired an editor as good as his web designer and provided bullet points to go along with those long ass stories.
Overall Francis comes off as a pompous, narcissistic self-absorbed jerk who thinks that he can talk his way out of anything. Being in jail for over six months has only strengthened the guy’s resolve to come out and make more money. He does have one fatal flaw, though – he really wants people to like him. He thinks that if we hear enough excuses come out of his mouth we’ll all come around to his side and realize that he’s just this likable entrepreneur who got where he is through hard work. Joe can talk all he wants because he’s just wasting his breath. It’s easy enough to see through the veneer to the slimeball underneath.
He may have been targeted by a vindictive judge, but he still didn’t pay his taxes and there are plenty of other allegations of rape and predatory behavior by the guy. He is in jail by his own arrogance and carelessness, and this time he’s not going to get out of it by talking a lot of shit.