Larry Flynt vs Jerry Falwell funny deposition footage from 06-15-1984
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Uploaded on Mar 21, 2009
Considered one of the biggest and at the very least, best recognized modern-day crusaders of free speech and First Amendment rights, Larry Flynt is a character beyond description as you'll see from this court deposition taken from Federal prison prior to his first trial versus Falwell where he was already serving a 6 month sentence for desecration of the flag (wearing a diaper made out of the American flag).
During the deposition, you'll hear Flynt mention "the Captain" numerous times - who he is referring to is Captain Joe Sivley from the Bureau of Prisons where he was being housed.
You'll get a good idea of just what a handful Larry Flynt can be (when he's not amusing himself) as he goes toe to toe with the opposition in a judicial setting. It's quite entertaining to say the least...
Fundamentalist Protestant minister Jerry Falwell took offense at a satirical magazine advertisement inside of Flynt owned Hustler magazine printed in 1983 which happened to target him. In a parody of a magazine ad for a popular alcoholic drink at the time (Campari) in which Hustler described a drunk Falwell having an incestuous encounter with his mother in an outhouse.
The Hustler parody featured a picture of Falwell and an "interview" in which Falwell describes his first sexual experience "with Mom" in an outhouse while both were "drunk off our God-fearing asses on Campari". The ad went on to say that Falwell was drunk and that "Mom looked better than a Baptist whore with a $100 donation". It went on to say that Falwell decided to have sex with his mother since she had "showed all the other guys in town such a good time". And finally, when asked if he had tried Campari since, Falwell answered, "I always get sloshed before I go out to the pulpit. You don't think I could lay down all that bullshit sober, do you?"
Even though the ad carried a disclaimer which mentioned that it was an "ad parody and not to be taken seriously", Falwell sued Flynt and Hustler magazine for invasion of privacy, libel, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, and a jury found in favor of Flynt on the libel claim, but found in favor of Falwell on the intentional infliction of emotional distress charge, and awarded Falwell $150,000 in damages.
As you can imagine, Flynt appealed the decision but the Fourth Circuit Court later affirmed it. And after it declined to rehear the case, the U.S. Supreme Court granted Flynt's request to hear the case.
Finally in 1988, the United States Supreme Court held, in a unanimous 8-0 decision (Justice Kennedy took no part in the decision), held that the First Amendment's free-speech guarantee prohibits awarding damages to public figures to compensate for emotional distress intentionally inflicted upon them. As a result, Hustler magazine's parody of Jerry Falwell was deemed to be within the law, leading to a reversal of the jury verdict in favor of Falwell, who had previously been awarded $150,000 in damages by a lower court.
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