Joe Francis, founder of Girls Gone Wild, in jailhouse interview with Fox News’ Greta Van Susteren
The founder of the “Girls Gone Wild” empire who has become wealthy by encouraging young women to bare it all for video cameras is comparing himself to Jesus Christ, claiming he’s being persecuted in the same way.
Joe Francis will make the claim tonight during a jailhouse interview with Greta Van Susteren for her “On the Record” program on the Fox News Channel.
Francis is currently behind bars in Nevada waiting to face charges of tax evasion, but he recalled his time spent in a Florida jail on a variety of charges, where he made the comparison to Jesus.
They would walk me – this is walking me to the shower, down the hall, and the inmates were mocking me on both sides, you know, and scream at me and – they weren’t in these conditions. And you know, I’d just be crying.
I fell again, and they came and they picked me up. And it was the chaplain. He had been walking in the hallway. And he looks at me, the chaplain of the thing, and he says – he says, “Son, have you thought about Jesus Christ?” And I’m crying, and I look at him and I go, “Every day! Because this is what they did to him.”
Like, I haven’t – I haven’t not done anything! I mean, these people are just getting off on destroying my life, you know? It’s sick.
The remark, which was previewed last night for this evening’s program, is already sparking reaction on Van Susteren’s blog.
During part one of the interview recorded in the Washoe County Jail in Reno, Nev., Francis claimed officials in Panama City, Fla., wrongly charged him with crimes he never committed during a 2003 spring break event:
They set up a secret task force to follow us around to secretly monitor us, to secretly monitor our movements and harass us. And you know, it’s still questionable whether – how much of this incident happened that was, you know, a set-up or a product of the local government.
But two weeks after – now, I had never been in trouble in my entire life with anything, and neither had “Girls Gone Wild” had a problem anywhere. Two weeks after I won and I beat these officials, they came at me, arrested me, charged me with 71 serious felonies for a total of 335 years in prison, if convicted.
They seized my Gulfstream jet. They sent out a press release, which was a lie, saying a quantity of cocaine had been found aboard this 22-passenger jet. They sent out – they charged me with drug trafficking for five Vicodin pills that I had a legal prescription for that they had, that they had, I had a legal prescription for, charged me with 30-year drug trafficking charge.
They tried to destroy me and my business only because I stood up for my First Amendment rights, and yours, and everyone else’s.
Van Susteren pointed out the video magnate earns an estimated $29 million a year for his exploits.
She also noted, “What struck us in Reno as we watched the Francis interview with you as it aired … is how different the interview seemed in person from when it aired (and you saw it.) … Joe Francis seemed very different in person than on tape. Go figure.”