Casino Mogul Steve Wynn Awarded $20M From Joe Francis

By Deanne Katz, Esq. on September 11, 2012 | Last updated on March 21, 2019

Joe Francis has even more to add to his gambling tab after the jury's ruling in his current lawsuit. The 'Girls Gone Wild' founder was sued by Steve Wynn back in 2008 but the issues, and the debt, keep mounting.

The most recent court ruling is in and the jury again sided with Wynn and awarded him several million more than his attorneys' request for $12 million.

If you haven't been following the case or heard Francis's statements about Wynn, here's a quick primer on the Casino mogul's complaints up to this point.

Francis's love of gambling apparently outstrips his ability to pay for it because in 2008 Wynn first sued him for a $2 million debt.

In response to that lawsuit, Francis made some claims about Wynn and accused him of trying to deceive Francis into gambling more after he started racking up losses.

Wynn sued him for defamation when he made those claims.

Then in 2010 Francis said that Wynn had threatened him in an email sent to a mutual friend. So Wynn sued Francis for defamation again. Sensing a trend yet?

At trial, Francis's claims went over poorly and the jury ruled against him, reports the Los Angeles Times.

The first defamation suit resulted in a $7.5 million award and the most recent one awarded Wynn $20 million for the new defamation claims. Add to that the gambling debt and Francis is getting close to owing $30 million.

A lawsuit for defamation is a claim that the defendant lied and their statement was made public and caused some harm, general financial, to the person suing.

Not all false statements are defamatory. Some are protected, such as testimony at trial. But Francis made his statements to the media which means they aren't privileged information.

Do you have more questions about when lies become defamation? Feel free to ask them on FindLaw Answers and we'll get a real person to send you a quick response.

It looks like Joe Francis may have to cough up some big bucks to Steve Wynn over what started out as a gambling debt but Wynn isn't going to get richer over this dispute. He's planning to donate everything after attorney's fees to charity, reports the Los Angeles Times.

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