Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Joe Francis In Jail Still Warms My Heart

The New York Times has a profile of Girls Gone Wild Creator Joe Francis and all his legal troubles. It’s basically a portrait of a person who did everything he could to turn charges into major feuds. But even if there are some prosecutors who are trying to build careers on prosecutions (even if they are valid), its not worth weeping for Joe.

If you play in mud, you get dirty. He is reaping a lot of what he is sowing. And if you have thoughts that he’s someone that doesn’t belong in a jail cell for something, here’s an except of the infamous LA Times magazine story. (Amanda at Pandagon also had a very astute analysis of Joe.)

Footage from that night shows a close-up of Szyszka's driver's license, proving she's not a minor. The camera then captures Szyszka lying on the bed. Her nails are chipped, her eyes coated with makeup. Following a cameraman’s instructions, she shows her breasts and says, "Girls Gone Wild." She seems shy but willing. She smiles. The unseen cameraman asks her to take off her shirt, her skirt, then her underwear. She sprawls on the bed, her legs open. At his suggestion, she masturbates with a dildo, saying repeatedly that it hurts but also feels good. Francis enters the room at certain points and you hear his voice, low and flirtatious, telling her, "You are so adorable." When she says she's a virgin, he responds: "Great. You won't be after my cameraman gets done with you."

When I talk to Szyszka seven days later, she says she "didn't quite realize" she was being filmed. "But I didn't care because I was drunk and who cares?" Then she adds: "It didn't feel good to me at all, but I was totally faking it because I was on 'Girls Gone Wild.'"

Eventually, Szyszka says, Francis told the cameraman to leave and pushed her back on the bed, undid his jeans and climbed on top of her. "I told him it hurt, and he kept doing it. And I keep telling him it hurts. I said, 'No' twice in the beginning, and during I started saying, 'Oh, my god, it hurts.' I kept telling him it hurt, but he kept going, and he said he was sorry but kissed me so I wouldn't keep talking."

Afterward, she says, Francis cleaned them both off with a paper towel and told her to get dressed. Then, she says, he opened the door and told the cameraman to come back, saying, "She's not a virgin anymore."

Szyszka says Francis told her that what happened had to stay between them. She says she agreed, and they walked to the front of the bus. Szyszka remembers that one of the crew returned her driver's license. Another asked if she wanted to hang out on the bus. She declined, she says, but asked for three pairs of "booty short" underwear that Francis had promised her for appearing on camera. "They gave me a weird look like that was too much," Szyszka recalls. "They were, like, 'Three of them?' and I was, like, 'Yeah, three.'"

Within days, Szyszka says, she told her father, who was angry about what she said had happened but kept quiet at her request. A month after the incident, she says, she told her sister and mother.

She's confused, she admits, about what happened. She feels guilty, she says, for getting herself into the situation in the first place. She says she never would have undressed for the cameras if she hadn't been completely drunk. And she is adamant that she said "no" to Francis. She says she's haunted by that night.

"I feel like it was planned," she says. "Sometimes I'm driving along, and I think about it and all of a sudden feel weird."


Anonymous said...

This guy belongs where he is, behind bars. He is exploiting drunken girls who have been taught by our MTV culture that sexuality carries no responsibility with it at all. I'm no prude--hot chicks are hot chicks. But I can't help but feel sorry for these girls who forfeit their dignity for a tee shirt. An 18 year old away from her parents for the first time at college is nothing but prey to people like Francis, and the longer he is in jail, the better.

Jim in Cleveland

Anonymous said...

wow...Jim & Newscat agree on something else besides the Tribe.

Now, how do I raise my daughter so that she doesn't get exploited?