"It seems that my chief sins have been 1) having way too much fun and 2) having discovered a way to make money doing it. I don't apologize for what I've achieved in my life and how I've achieved it, and I'm happy to share what I've learned from it with you. I've had some pretty amazing experiences over the years – some absolutely outrageous experiences -- and I'm happy to share those with you too."
- Joe Francis
Dear Joe Francis,
It has come to my attention that you have spent the last eight months in prison.
For those who aren't aware, you are the CEO of Mantra Films, and through that company, you distribute the Girls Gone Wild series of videos.
I learned about your incarceration after you placed a phone call to the afternoon radio program The Church of Lazlo. As much as I hate to admit it, Lazlo, Afentra and Slimfast can be pretty funny, which means I tune in despite the fact that they often attempt to discuss serious topics about which they tend to know very little. It can be frustrating.
(I guess when you can yell as loudly as Lazlo and still form complete sentences, you don't really have to know much about the topics under discussion.)
I wasn't surprised to find that they were outraged on your behalf. They were very understanding, and treated your concerns with respect. I believe that they were under the impression that their listeners would also be outraged.
I listened very carefully to your side of the story, and you mentioned that you are being held on a manufactured charge (based on having brought prescription drugs into a prison, I believe) which came about after you turned yourself in for contempt of court relating to another matter. As I understand the facts, you were ordered to engage in settlement negotiations as part of a civil lawsuit, with the families of two underage girls who you claim lied about their age in order to be filmed by one of your cameramen.
(I may not have that exactly right, but it doesn't really matter.)
The Judge apparently ordered you to "settle or go to jail" after negotiations became heated and broke down. (They wanted 70 million, you chose to go to jail thinking you would only be there for an hour or so.) Your attorney argues that the Judge's ruling constitutes an unheard of and unlawful tactic by the Court.
During the phone call, you also expressed concerns that the prosecuting attorney is friendly with, and even once worked alongside, the presiding Judge. Your attorney, who was present during the phone call, argued that this conflict of interest should have disqualified the Judge.
If I'm not mistaken, you were initially held without bail. This apparently bothered you because other criminals were allowed to post bail despite having committed what you contend were more serious or "actual" crimes. You are currently able to post bail, as you are now being held in a different jurisdiction, but doing so would somehow result in your being sent back to Florida, where you would likely be put back into prison -- once again without the option of posting bail.
In short, it sounds to me as though you believe that the American justice system is working against you, and that you are the victim of a vindictive prosecuting attorney.
That really stinks for you, if it's true.
Let's assume, just for the moment, that everything you say is true and that 1) you're being held unlawfully and 2) you have done absolutely nothing wrong.
As part of your plea to Lazlo, you pointed his listeners to your website (www.meetjoefrancis.com) which exists to tell your story and to help people understand the "real" you. You sounded very concerned, or at least bitter, so I visited your website, and I read through as much of it as I could.
You start, as they say, at the beginning:
I suppose I owe my life to the art of the pickup. If a certain young man hadn't approached a certain young woman on a beach many years ago, I wouldn't be telling this story at all. The young man was Raymond Francis, my father, and on a Long Island beach one summer, he approached a pretty blonde Austrian girl named Maria to ask," Would you like to go out?" Thirty-eight years later, they are still married.
That's pretty much where I stopped reading.
Unfortunately, I was not able to determine whether you should or shouldn't be in prison (you'll have to forgive my assumption that there are two sides to this story, and that the Joe Francis side, told on the Joe Francis website, might be a bit biased) but I did come to the following conclusion:
You're still in jail because you're a fake, vile person with a completely unlikable personality and a sketchy legal history. Even on the off chance that you've done nothing wrong, there is nothing about you that would make me, or any other decent human being, care enough about your predicament to petition the system on your behalf -- even if you're being screwed over.
You mention on your website that fans often ask how you "got so lucky" and you respond that people make their own luck.
I happen to agree with you on this point, even if we seem to have different definitions of the word lucky. I believe that both luck and karma are the direct and undeniable results of our own actions, and that neither have anything at all to do with a mystical, arbitrary force.
What you seem to ignore (and the moral of this story) is that the opposite is also true: We do make our own good luck, but we make our bad luck as well. This is to say that you're in an undesirable situation of your own making. My apathy towards your predicament is funded by your lifestyle choices, your history of legal trouble, your personality, your paper-thin contention that exploiting women is somehow a service to the "sexual liberation" of women and the fact that you've gotten to be very rich as the result of an overtly skeezy personality.
For what it's worth, I happen to be "pro" boobies. All the same, let's not pretend that you're a stand-up guy or that my sympathy couldn't be lent to more deserving causes. Say, R. Kelly.
Like a lot of "victims", you are all too eager to take credit for your good fortune, but completely unwilling to recognize that the opposite is likely true as well.
You're wealthy, and that means you're able to post pictures of yourself alongside a handful of b-list celebrities, some of whom you've been able to con into providing a written endorsement. (I see that Lance Bass is on board.) You've even found a few skanky women who are willing to back your rhetoric at the cost of what little dignity they had left.
I wonder how many of those celebrities are aware that those images are being used as an endorsement on a website which protests your current legal woes? Did they lend their name to your cause, or are you hijacking their pseudo-celebrity?
If your name is eventually cleared and it is proven that you have been treated unlawfully, I won't object. Justice is, and should be, blind. With that said, I'm certainly not going to do anything on your behalf to speed that process along, and neither a scripted website nor a trio of uninformed radio personalities are going to change my mind about that.