For over a decade, “Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis and Las Vegas casino tycoon Steve Wynn have been locked in a bitter series of lawsuits involving a squadron of attorneys and many millions of dollars.
The squabbling began in February 2007, when — during a wild weekend in Vegas — Mr. Francis racked up a $2 million gambling debt at one of Mr. Wynn’s casinos. Our boy refused to pay up, so Mr. Wynn eventually sued him for the cash. Mr. Francis countersued, blaming his epic losses on Mr. Wynn plying him with booze and hookers. Oh my!
A jury eventually found in Mr. Wynn’s favor, but then Mr. Francis claimed (on camera, no less) that Mr. Wynn had threatened to kill him. Naturally, another lawsuit ensued — this time Mr. Wynn sued Mr. Francis for slander — and resulted with a jury levying a $40 million judgment against Mr. Francis (the judgment was upheld on appeal, though the amount was reduced to $19 million).
Oh, in case you’re wondering what Mr. Francis thought of the hefty judgment, he opined that the “mentally retarded” jury “should be shot dead“. So there y’all have it.
Ever since his 2012 award, Mr. Wynn has been attempting to collect from Mr. Francis. Which brings us to the latter’s longtime Bel Air home, which he bought way back in 2002 for $5,450,000.
Mr. Francis has been a longtime magnet for legal and financial troubles of all sorts — Mr. Wynn is but one of his myriad creditors — and many of them involved his Bel Air mansion, which has been in and out of foreclosure for years. Yolanda will not bore y’all with the nuts and bolts of his tangled affairs, but if you really care to read more, here’s a very thorough summary. But we digress.
Anywho, Mr. Francis valiantly attempted to prevent Mr. Wynn from seizing his assets — his Girls Gone Wild company strategically filed for bankruptcy, and the Bel Air house was transferred to a shell company which transferred the property to an entirely different shell company. But the gamesmanship appears to have ended. As of this month (February 2019), by US Marshals’ deed, the property belongs to Mr. Wynn.
Now in his late 70s and legally blind, Mr. Wynn is unlikely to want the Bel Air residence for himself — anyway, he’s already got a much grander LA spread elsewhere. More on that momentarily.
Situated about midway between exclusive “Lower Bel Air” and less-desirable “Upper Bel Air”, the 1995-built contemporary lies on a tiny gated cul-de-sac. There are only three other properties on this street — one owned by hedge funder George McCabe, another by Indian “razor blade tycoon” Rocky Malhotra. The third, a 25,000-square-foot mega-mansion, is home home to legendary music producer Quincy Jones.
According to records, there are five bedrooms — all of them ensuite — and seven baths in 6,446-square-feet of living space. Though the .89-acre lot isn’t particularly huge, it does sport canyon and city lights views. The property was judged to be worth $6.7 million on its recent transfer to Mr. Wynn.
Extra-astute real estate watchers may recall this is the same house from whence Mr. Francis was kidnapped in 2004. Before being driven from the property in his own car’s trunk, he was forced to do various degrading things at gunpoint — the entire story is a bit NSFW. The kidnapper and would-be extortionist was later brought to justice, courtesy of Paris Hilton. (Only in Hollywood!)
For the last several years, Mr. Francis has been living at his 40,000-square-foot estate in Punta Mita, Mexico, so it ain’t surprising that the Bel Air property looks a bit neglected and bedraggled in recent aerial images. Still, Yolanda believes the place — even in its current decrepit condition — is probably worth somethin’ close to $10 million on the open market. Good news for Mr. Wynn, we suppose.
Speaking of Mr. Wynn, his current LA residence is a 20,000-square-foot mansion set on a private road in Beverly Hills. He paid just under $48 million for the property, which was custom-built in the early 2000s by Maurice Marciano of GUESS? jeans fame. Yolanda happens to know the compound is currently undergoing a multimillion dollar remodel of some sort.
But Mr. Wynn is currently preoccupied with troubles of his own — the multi-billionaire was caught up in the #MeToo scandal last year. Amid an “avalanche” of negative publicity — at least ten women alleged improprieties committed by him — he quickly resigned his CEO position. The Nevada Gaming Commission (NGC) is currently deliberating what penalty to impose on Wynn Resorts, whose executives were repeatedly made aware of Mr. Wynn’s (alleged) indiscretions but did little in response.
As for his newly-acquired Bel Air property, we imagine Mr. Wynn will soon — perhaps once his other issues are resolved — flip the mini-estate onto the open market. Or maybe he’ll fix it up first? Regardless, if you’ve always wanted to live in the LA home of a guy who made his fortune off drunken sorority girls — and really, who hasn’t? — your chance should soon present itself.