Joe Francis seems to be having a hard time avoiding a court room these days. In the latest case, the "Girl's Gone Wild" founder is being sued by 2008 Playmate of the year Jayde Nicole. The suit alleges assault and battery in connection with a scuffle at the Los Angeles nightclub Guys and Dolls.
Francis' attorney told a judge that the litigation between Francis and a Playboy model could be resolved quickly if her boyfriend, Brody Jenner, can be served with a countersuit.
Lawyers' statements made before Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Mark V. Mooney, explain the events from both sides something like this:
"In an intoxicated and uncontrollable rage, defendant Francis, who weighs over 200 pounds, physically attacked plaintiff Nicole, approximately 115 pounds, by pulling on her hair from behind to gain maximum control over her person and then violently shoving and/or throwing her to the ground of the nightclub like a rag-doll," the suit states.
Nicole alleges that Francis caused her multiple injuries, including a "black eye, swollen face, bruised ribs, sore and bruised abdomen region, bruised arms and legs, ripped-out hair and utter emotional distress and humiliation."
Francis filed a countersuit against Nicole and Jenner alleging battery, assault, negligence, slander, libel and invasion of privacy. It acknowledges Francis pulled Nicole's hair, but states he did so in self- defense to keep her from hitting him with a bottle.
Local news from across Southern California
Francis maintains a club video backs up his story.
The countersuit also maintains Jenner, a member of the cast of MTV's "The Hills," punched Francis in the face and ripped off his shirt.
Both Jenner and Nicole made false and disparaging statements about Francis to others, the suit alleges. Nicole told a paparazzo that Francis punched her and threw her to the ground, while Jenner stated on his Twitter page that the videomaker "beat up my lady ... for no good reason," according to the countersuit.
Francis' lawyer, Cyrus Nownejad, did not attend the hearing, but communicated via the court speaker-phone system. He said Jenner had not been served yet because he is in Australia.
Nownejad did not say why he thought the litigation could be resolved sooner once Jenner is served. However, Nicole's lawyer, Ronald Richards, said he believes Nownejad thinks Jenner will pressure Nicole to settle once he is brought into the case.
Richards said that assumption would be false and that the successful service of Jenner -- who is not his client -- would have no bearing on the outcome of the legal fight.
Richards also said he is confident that the defamation and invasion-of- privacy portions of Francis' suit will be dismissed during a Feb. 4 hearing. The attorney maintains the allegations are an infringement on Nicole's right to free speech.
The judge continued the hearing until Feb. 5 to see if Jenner can be served in the interim.