Monday, May 07, 2007

Intoxication And Signing Consent Forms

On reflection of Garance’s op-ed does anyone recall a specific lawsuit against Girls Gone Wild that involved a charge that the producers got the women deliberately drunk to obtain consent to film?

I recall reading about a case (and I thought the women lost, or maybe it settled out of court) where the plaintiffs alleged the producers of Girls Gone Wild pressured or forced them to sit in a chair, like a dentist or a barber shop chair, and then poured drinks down their throats. Once they were very, very intoxicated they got them to sign consent release forms. I remember reading about this a few years ago but can't seem to find the case.

Joe Francis has been sued way too many times to just google “lawsuit” and “girls gone wild.” He’s been sued for not having signed consent forms and for filming underage women, for misrepresentation and many other reason but I cannot find a news article about being sued because the consent release forms were signed only after they got the participants completely intoxicated.

I know the law is different in different states about consent to film and intoxication but my understanding is that being drunk does not invalidate a signed consent form. It might be that theoretically if you are so drunk as to be incoherent you are unable to give consent to film, but like most legal cases, it’s a tough case to prove that the producer knew you were too incapacitated to give consent. At least prove in the legal sense in front of a jury that might just think you were a slut. Juries seem to have a poor opinion of women they perceive as “loose” especially if those women are seen as drinking or using any other kind of drugs. Basically if you take a drink or smoke a joint you get what's coming to you.

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