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'Girls Gone Wild' empire files for bankruptcy

Joe Francis is seen in this undated file photo.

March 1, 2013 12:00:00 AM PST
The company behind the "Girls Gone Wild" video empire, GGW Brands LLC, and several subsidiaries has filed for bankruptcy.

The Chapter 11 bankruptcy filing listed more than $16 million in disputed claims.

The largest claim, filed by Wynn Resorts Limited, is seeking more than $10 million from the company.

The figure results from judgments entered against "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis over a gambling debt and statements he made about the casino and founder Steve Wynn.

Francis no longer owns the company, which has made a fortune selling videos and magazines of semi-nude young women.

The company released a statement Thursday stating its financialy strong but has decided to file for bankruptcy to restructure.

"Yesterday several of the U.S. operating entities for Girls Gone Wild joined the ranks of companies like American Airlines and General Motors having sought reorganization under Chapter 11 of the United States Bankruptcy code," the statement read. "Girls Gone Wild remains strong as a company and strong financially. The only reason Girls Gone Wild has elected to file for this reorganization is to re-structure its frivolous and burdensome legal affairs. This Chapter 11 filing will not affect any of Girls Gone Wild's domestic or international operations. Just like American Airlines and General Motors, it will be business as usual for Girls Gone Wild."

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