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Joe Francis, 30, the producer of the topless "Girls Gone Wil

Source: New York Daily News Archive / Getty

Who would’ve thought that a video series that existed for the sole purpose of getting drunk, barely legal women to expose their breasts and perform sexual acts on camera might become a breeding ground for sexual abuse? Shocking, I tell ya’.

You might remember those Girls Gone Wild commercials that purported the series to be an innocent filming of spring break shenanigans that just so happened to include college girls getting naked and, well, going wild. But in the first episode of TNT’s new true-crime anthology series Rich & Shameless, director Katinka Blackford Newman exposed a darker side of the series, one where young women were duped into situations that amounted to sexual abuse and violence, most of which were allegedly committed by Girls Gon Wild creator Joe Francis.

From the New York Post:

The early 2000s were a crazy time for self-crowned “party girl” Jannel. 

But the thumping club anthems hit a shrieking record scratch around 2:30 a.m. Aug. 25, 2006. 

That’s when Jannel claims that “Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis brutally raped her in the back of his logo-wrapped tour bus, which was parked near Chicago’s Club Envy, where they’d partied earlier in the evening.

She claims that Francis cherrypicked her from the crowded dance floor, fed her alcohol “like it was water,” incessantly complimented her looks, and then invited her onto the bus — where she assumed that the worst she’d be asked to do was flash her breasts at a “Girls Gone Wild” camera.

Instead, she said, she was forced to “touch” herself with objects that he’d stored on the sleeper bus in a bedside dresser drawer. Then Francis allegedly pounced on her.

“He kept trying to kiss me and saying, ‘It’s going to be OK, it’s going to be OK.’ And I was like, ‘Get off of me, get off of me,’” Jannel said on the docuseries episode. “He basically forced himself on me, and it hurt because I wasn’t ‘turned on,’ so it really hurt…He took hold of me. I was this 100-pound little girl. I didn’t give my consent that night, and he totally raped me. And then he got off of me like I was garbage.”

Newman explained to the Post that Jannel isn’t the only woman who has horror stories to tell about their Girls Gone Wild experiences.

“Behind the fun, the wet T-shirt competitions and the faux-feministic liberation centered around flashing your breasts in front of a camera, lives were being ruined,” Newman said. “Young women like Jannel thought Joe Francis was OK because he hung out with celebrities. Nobody could believe that somebody who rubs shoulders with the Kardashians, Brad Pitt, and Jennifer Aniston could be a violent abuser and a criminal.”

Blackford Newman talked about footage from the documentary where someone who worked for Francis talked visibly drunk and barely legal women into having sex on camera. In the footage, she said an off-camera man can be heard coaching three women in performing oral sex on each other while making sex sounds for the audience. One of the women can be heard asking, “My parents aren’t going to see this, are they?”

“It literally turns my stomach,” Newman said. “That could have easily been my kids. Some famous guys who’s friends with the Kardashians comes along with a camera, asks them to sign something, they’re drunk and don’t know what they’re doing, and bam (their sex tape) is out there for the next 20 years.”

The Post noted Francis’ history of giving off big predator energy. In 2003, he was arrested on child pornography charges for allegedly filming two underage girls having sex in a shower. He was also accused of making two 17-year-olds massage his penis. In 2007, he was arrested on contempt of court charges for telling the prosecutors in his child porn case to “suck my d**k.”

More from the Post:

Francis served 11 months in a Reno, Nevada, jail for $20 million tax evasion in 2009, while celeb fans like (Kim) Kardashian stood by him, sporting a “Free Joe” T-shirt in public. While in jail in Reno, Francis also concurrently served his 339-day sentence in the child porn case. 

Don’t be surprised if a host of celebrities named as Francis fans and supporters in the documentary find themselves in the awkward position of having to explain why they were so buddy-buddy with a man who is certainly a sexual predator. No one should ever have thought Girls Gone Wild was a good idea.

Joe Francis’ Alleged Sexual Violence In “Girls Gone Wild” Covered In New TNT Documentary  was originally published on