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Go Figure, The Guy Who Created 'Girls Gone Wild' Is Just As Scummy And Awful As You'd Expect

Updated March 18, 2020 679.8k views13 items

There was a time in the late 1990s and early 2000s when Girls Gone Wild infomercials were all over late-night television. The insanely popular GGW franchise, for those who don't know, was basically a bunch of videos in which inebriated college women, usually on spring break or some other type of vacation, were persuaded to do wild stuff on camera. The person behind the franchise was Joe Francis, who netted a cool $177 million for coaxing people who had consumed more than a few drinks into doing things they probably wouldn't have done sober.

To no one's surprise, Francis has proven over the last two decades to be less than upstanding in many ways. From tax evasion and bankruptcy to a various array of unsavory activities on GGW, there are few legal and moral issues Francis has not been caught up in at one point or another. Given the nature of GGW, the various charges and accusations levied against Francis don't seem nearly as surprising as they might otherwise. 

  • He Seeks Out Celebrities For Photo Ops

    Photo: flipchip / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY-SA 3.0

    Almost since the time he first started making a name for himself, Francis has attached himself to the rich and famous. Francis has reportedly dated Paris Hilton, Tara Reid, and Lindsay Lohan, to name just a few.

    A bit more confusing is the more A-list celebs like Jennifer Aniston, Orlando Bloom, and Demi Moore that have reportedly hung out with Francis in the past, despite his reputation. 

  • He Gave Us Kim Kardashian

    Photo: Luke Ford / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 2.5

    Many of Francis's celebrity pals were last seen with him more than a decade ago. However, there is one high-profile celebrity who hasn't forsaken Francis: Kim Kardashian. Francis now lives in Mexico with his wife and children, and Kim stayed at his lavish home as recently as 2016. Francis' relationship with the entire Kardashian Klan has been going strong for 16 years and running.

    Rumor has it he also advised Kim to sell her famous tape to Vivid Entertainment, which was the defining event that made her a star. 

  • He's BFFs With Mario Lopez

    Photo: Gage Skidmore / Wikimedia Commons / CC BY 3.0

    In 2017, Francis hosted longtime pal Mario Lopez at his Mexican estate. Lopez even married his wife there in 2012.

    This is a strange pairing given that Lopez has such a squeaky-clean image and Francis reportedly does not. 

  • He Threatened To Sue After Winning A Less-Than-Kind Snarky Award

    As the 2000s were drawing to a close, the Gawker website held the "Douche of the Decade" competition. Readers picked from an array of less-than-savory characters and Francis took top spot on the list. He was not happy and threatened legal action against Gawker and the writer of the piece. 

    In an email to the site/writer: "You messed with the wrong guy. No one make [sic] up lies about me and gets away with it. I lost a 10 million dollar deal as a direct result of you calling me [out]...."