BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — There’s no legal basis or paperwork to back up Jimmy Flynt Sr.’s claims of company ownership, LFP Chairman Larry Flynt said Wednesday.
“Jimmy has no equity position with the company, he has no stock in the company,” Larry Flynt told XBIZ. “I have no idea why he’s suing me.”
Jimmy Flynt Sr. filed suit last week at Hamilton County, Ohio, County Court, claiming he’s a partner in LFP and that Larry Flynt and his team of lawyers interfered with operations of Hustler Hollywood in Cincinnati.
Jimmy Flynt Sr., in the suit, said that he and his brother spent 40 years building up the Hustler empire from a chain of go-go clubs into a “national multimedia empire” that includes websites, gentlemens clubs, magazines, videos, retail stores, a casino and a clothing line.
But Larry Flynt told XBIZ that Jimmy Flynt Sr. only operated the Hustler Hollywood in Cincinnati “under a license, under his name” and was paid a salary of $250,000 a year.
Further, Larry Flynt said that Jimmy Flynt Sr. was merely an employee for 35 years who was fired four times from the company.
In the suit, Jimmy Flynt Sr. alleges in the suit that while “Larry has been the more public, out-front partner, and although Larry has generally served the role of the managing partner, Jimmy has always been there, at Larry’s side from the beginning, often behind the scenes and out of the public eye.”
He claims if it were not for him, Hustler would “most likely have ceased to exist in the late 1970s or early to mid 1980s, during a period when Larry was physically and/or mentally incapacitated.”
Larry Flynt was in and out of prison and mental hospitals due to drug addiction and odd behavior after a March 1978 assassination attempt in which he was shot several times and rendered paraplegic.
From the early 1980s to the mid 1990s Hustler’s business was “flat and generally struggling,” but after the release of the 1996 film “The People vs. Larry Flynt,” Jimmy Flynt Sr. said he was able to re-energize the Hustler brand.
Jimmy Flynt Sr. claims he came up with the idea to open several retail stores and coined the phrase, “Relax … it’s just sex.” He also said he came up with the plans for an online store several strip clubs and helped Hustler dominate the adult entertainment video industry.
Jimmy Flynt Sr., in the suit, said the family feud began when his sons began using the Flynt name for their own business, Flynt Media Corp.
According to the suit, when Jimmy Flynt Sr. was unable to get his sons to comply to cease using the Flynt name, Larry Flynt stopped his pay and demanded that Jimmy Flynt Sr. pay the legal bills for the action against his sons.
“Larry was blunt and unequivocal in threatening economic adversity and harm to Jimmy unless Jimmy was willing and able to exert sufficient and effective fatherly influence to affect the outcome of Larry’s federal lawsuit in Larry’s favor,” the suit said.
Jimmy Flynt Sr. said his termination letter stated that he was fired due to “recent events that have clearly placed you in conflict with the interest of Mr. Larry C. Flynt.” He said that he was ordered to turn in his company car or it would be reported stolen.
The termination was an “overall plan and conspiracy to cut Jimmy out of the company,” the suit said.
Jimmy Flynt Sr. also alleges that his long-time attorney, Paul Cambria Jr., conspired and colluded with Larry to sever ties from the company and to cause economic harm to him and Hustler Hollywood in Cincinnati.
He said that Cambria’s firm Lipsitz Green has “continued to take adverse action against Jimmy and Hustler Hollywood in Cincinnati,” including the filing of contempt motions in connection with the deposition in the Flynt Media Corp.
“As part of a plan to cause economic harm to Jimmy, the Lipsitz Green firm, in addition to being involved with the decision to stop Jimmy’s pay and benefits and in addition to being involved with the request for a $400,000 emergency loan from Hustler Hollywood in Cincinnati, have colluded with Larry and other company executives to look for loopholes in the very same documents and agreements that they put together in order to interfere with the operation of the downtown Cincinnati store that is currently owned ‘on paper’ 100 percent by Jimmy and that is listed as one of the Hustler Hollywood stores on Hustler-operated, managed and owned websites,” the suit said.
The Hustler Hollywood loan request was denied, resulting in an eviction claim by the store’s landlord, which hasn’t yet taken place, according to the suit.
Jimmy Flynt Sr.’s suit seeks to have a receiver review the assets of all of the Hustler companies to determine their value. It also seeks to have the brothers’ alleged partnership dissolved and for Jimmy Flynt Sr. to get at least half of those assets.
Larry Flynt said Wednesday that the suits he has had to wage or defend have become a part of his life.
“It’s the price of doing business,” he said. “There is no one else in this country who has spent as much as I have on hiring lawyers.”
He also said that the series of legal issues has put a division between him and his brother.
“I used to be close to Jimmy and the nephews but things have become strained, and I haven’t talked to my brother for months,” he said.