The Escapades of Joe Francis in Black & White

By: Betsy Goldin Email
By: Betsy Goldin Email

Most of you remember Joe Francis, the founder of Girls Gone Wild, and his highly publicized court battles, right here in Bay County.
Now, David Angier, a local author has released a tell-all book from his time in the court room.
Angier has been working on his book "The Madness of Joe Francis" since 2005.
He covered the case as a reporter for the News Herald and decided the characters were too fascinating not to write a book.
"And I said, ‘if I'm not going to write a book about this, I'm not going to write a book in my career,” said Angier. “This has the most incredible characters. Love him or hate him, Joe Francis is the most fascinating character I've ever written about."
In 2003 Panama City Beach was getting close to half a million spring breakers a year, it was the perfect party scene for Girls Gone Wild founder, Joe Francis to make a stop.
"It was a very hot destination, even more so than now,” said Angier. “So, Joe Francis and Girls Gone Wild were coming to the area at least two years prior."
Lee Sullivan, the then mayor of Panama City Beach told Francis not to come to town.
"Lee said, ‘don't film girls exposing themselves,’ and Joe Francis actually thought it was a publicity stunt," Angier said.
Francis filed a federal lawsuit saying that was a violation of his first amendment right, the courts ruled in his favor.
"One of his camera men took a video of two underage girls in the shower, that's what triggered everything else."
Francis ended up spending 11 months in jail, he finally resolved the criminal charges.
"He said, 'I thought we were all just having fun, I was wrong.'”
Angier will be having a book signing Friday, Jan. 25, at The Wine Dog in The Coronado Village.
It will be from 4:30-7pm.


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