Las Vegas casino mogul Steve Wynn wins slander case against Joe Francis of 'Girls Gone Wild'


Actress Ashley Tisdale, Wynn Resorts Chairman CEO Steve Wynn and wife Andrea Wynn attend the "Unmasking" grand opening of Mizumi Restaurant at Wynn Las Vegas on June 7, 2012 in Las Vegas, Nevada.


Isaac Brekken

Steve Wynn has won a $20 million lawsuit against Girls Gone Wild founder Joe Francis for slander after he claimed the Las Vegas casino mogul threatened to kill him over a gambling debt.

Wynn initially filed suit in 2010 after Francis claimed that Wynn threatened to have him buried in the desert as payback.

According to the Hollywood Reporter, the soft-core porn producer had told a court: "He said he would hit me in the back of the head with a shovel and bury me in a hole in the desert."

According to the Reporter, Francis repeated the threats to a TMZ reporter and on ABC's Good Morning America.

The two had been locked in a battle over a disputed $2 million debt from one of Wynn's properties.

Francis said his fear arose from Wynn's connection to New York’s Genovese crime family, the New York Daily News reported.

Francis had reportedly told jurors that Quincy Jones, his neighbor and a mutual friend of Wynn's, passed the threat on to him.

According to the Associated Press, witnesses disputed Francis's claims during a four-day trial, while Wynn also vehemently denied them.

The jury found that Francis slandered Wynn and knew his allegations were false when he made them.

Wynn's attorneys said Francis' public accusation had harmed his business interests in the highly regulated gaming industry.

Wynn has designed and developed signature Las Vegas casinos including The Mirage and Bellagio.

They had asked the panel to award the billionaire $12 million plus punitive damages, however Wynn had said that he would donate any payout to charities, the AP reported.

Neither man was present in court for the verdict.

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