Joe Francis is in trouble with the law again.
The 38-year-old “Girls Gone Wild” founder and his bodyguard were charged Tuesday (Aug 23) with several misdemeanors related to a physical altercation with three women following a party at the Supper Club in Hollywood back in January.
Francis is facing three counts of false imprisonment, one count of dissuading a witness from reporting a crime, and one count of assault causing great bodily injury. If he is convicted of all of his charges, he could face up to 5 years in county jail, in addition to $13,000 or more in fines.
His bodyguard Vagram Gegdzhyan faces additional criminal counts of impersonating a public officer with intimidation and one count of fraudulently using a badge.
The Washington Post reports:
The case stems from a January incident in which the female victims in the case went to Supper Club in Hollywood to celebrate a college graduation.
Near the end of the evening, the women met Francis and briefly had a conversation before he left. After the club was closing, he allegedly grabbed one of the women by the hand and took her to his limo.
The two other women entered the limo believing they were being taken to their car.
During the ride, Vagram Gegdzhyan (Joe’s driver and bodyguard) allegedly produced a sheriff’s badge, impersonating a law enforcement officer, and did not allow the women to get out of the limo.
The group was taken to Francis’ gated home, where a physical altercation ensued between Francis and two of the women as he allegedly attempted to pull one of them away from the others.
During the altercation, Francis allegedly grabbed one of the women by the throat and hair and pushed and slammed her head into the tile floor four times.
The women were escorted out of the house and allegedly told a taxi would not be called and paid for if they called the police.
While in the taxi driving back to Hollywood, the victims called 911 and met LAPD at the location of their parked car, the city attorney’s office said in a statement.
Francis later turned himself in after a warrant was issued for his arrest. He was released after posting $50,000 bail.
But Francis tells E! News that he’s innocent and plans on suing the woman for defamation, calling the whole thing “politically motivated.”
He told the website:
“We pulled over. I told them no violence in the car. One girl was fighting and saying they weren’t getting out. It’s the most ridiculous thing because this hurts my name. It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and I am sick of it. I’m going after the city attorney for being irresponsible and [showing a] reckless disregard for the truth. He chooses to ignore the eyewitnesses and security cameras. How he’s going to get around that, I don’t know.
“I’m tired of my name being dragged in the mud. People will read this stuff and believe it…This [the fight] was the most classless, ghetto, crazy thing I have ever seen. As disgusting as girls could ever be. I’m embarrassed that I had them in my car. The girls were in their 20s, college grads.”
Several witnesses back up Joe’s story, saying that the girls were fighting each other and “Joe tried to stop them.”
Fortunately for Joe, he may get to prove his side of the story, because he says his version of the events are backed up by three surveillance cameras, all of which captured the incident.