Girls Gone Wild Finally, Blessedly Files for Bankruptcy [UPDATE]

After 16 godawful, Jägermeister-fueled years, the Girls Gone Wild amateur porn franchise is filing for bankruptcy. The Wall Street Journal reports that company founder Joe Francis manager Chris Dale put GGW Brands LLC and other companies under the Girls Gone Wild umbrella into Chapter 11 protection yesterday to prevent the Wynn Las Vegas Casino and Resort from acquiring them in a multimillion dollar lawsuit:

Wynn's resort has been chasing Francis, 39, for years after he failed to pay a $2 million gambling debt to the hotel during a February 2007 trip. In 2012, the resort got a $7.5 million judgment for defamation "stemming from Francis's public attack falsely accusing Wynn of deceiving customers," according to the resort's lawsuit.

The bankruptcy filing will effectively block the Wynn's continued efforts to collect, which, according to attorneys, have already been blocked time and again by Francis' repeated dodges. "Wynn has confirmed what it has long suspected," Wynn lawyers wrote in their lawsuit, "namely that Francis has avoided Wynn's collection efforts by, among other things, not taking any income and using accounts held by various entities that do business under his ‘Girls Gone Wild' brand to pay all his personal expenses."

For people of a certain age, Girls Gone Wild going bankrupt—assuming there's no attempt to revive the brand—signals the end of an era. Potentially gone for good are those once ubiquitous late-night informercials, obnoxious, noisy, and lousy with drunk spring breakers whose nipples are pixelated out. If we're lucky, perhaps also gone for good from the public eye is Joe Francis, a predatory, violent misogynist who once threateningly pinned a female reporter down onto a car and was constantly getting sued when he wasn't being arrested. He also dated Paris Hilton for a while.

In short, Joe Francis is the scummy, teeth-whitening hangover we're still dealing with after the strange cultural excesses of the early aughts. By, Joe, hope to see you never.

Update: Girls Gone Wild's attorneys have written in, claiming that Francis is no longer an officer, owner, or employee of the company and that, contrary to the Wall Street Journal story, the bankruptcy was initiated by GGW Brands LLC manager Chris Dale, not Francis. The bankruptcy documents support that claim. They also show that the company's largest liability is a $10.3 million trade debt to Wynn Las Vegas LLS "for judgement suffered by Joe Francis." GGW's attorneys also claim that the suggestion that "Girls Gone Wild brand and products would be disappearing (i.e. that the brand needs to be revived) is wholly without merit." If true, that's unfortunate. The bankruptcy filing demonstrates that the company has less than $50,000 in assets against more than $16 million in debt.

The letter from GGW's attorney:

Mr. Jefferson:

I represent GGW Direct, LLC, GGW Brands, LLC, GGW Magazine, LLC and GGW Events, LLC, the entities that recently filed for Chapter 11 reorganization in the Central District of California Bankruptcy Court. I am writing to demand that you retract the below article and post corrections to the blatant misstatements contained in the below article:

http://gawker.com/5987587/girls-gone-wild-finally-blessedly-files-for-bankruptcy

First, Mr. Joseph Francis is not an officer, employee or owner of any of the GGW entities and therefore did not "put GGW Brands, LLC and other companies" into Chapter 11 as you reported. The bankruptcy petitions clearly show that the bankruptcy was authorized by Mr. Chris Dale, Manager of GGW Brands, LLC. GGW Brands, LLC is the parent of the other companies and so it was Mr. Dale who likewise instituted those bankruptcies as well.

Secondly, Chapter 11 reorganization is used to reorganize the financial and legal affairs of ongoing companies (e.g. American Airlines), and therefore your reporting that the Girls Gone Wild brand and products would be disappearing (i.e. that the brand needs to be revived) is wholly without merit.

It is apparent that these factual errors were intentional and done with malice towards the companies and Mr. Francis. You must immediately retract the article and post the above corrections, or suit for defamation will be filed. You do not have permission to republish this email communication in any manner.

Sincerely,

Ronald D. Tym, Esq.
The Tym Firm
7120 Carlson Circle
818-836-1428

[Image via AP]