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Flynt hustles into town for Cambria bash; Calls Cambria The Best First Amendment Lawyer in the Country

from – Many times over the past 34 years, Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt has counted on a Buffalo defense attorney named Paul J. Cambria Jr. to keep him in business and out of jail.

On [a recent] Saturday, the flamboyant publisher showed up for a summer bash at Cambria’s Clarence home for two reasons: to pay tribute to his old friend, and to enjoy a party. The 68-year-old Flynt, who uses a wheelchair because of gunshot injuries suffered in a 1978 assassination attempt, said he traveled from his Beverly Hills, Calif., home because of his respect for Cambria.

“I made the pilgrimage out here hoping that Paul won’t raise my retainer fee,” Flynt quipped. “Actually, in my opinion, Paul is the best First Amendment lawyer in the country.”

Flynt and his wife, Liz, were two of the more than 100 people who attended the Saturday night party in the home of Cambria and his wife, Paula, in the Spaulding Lake neighborhood.

Flynt said he considers Cambria a close friend, and Cambria said he holds Flynt in such high regard that he built a special wheelchair-accessible room for him to stay in when he visits.

Cambria was with Flynt in March 1978, when a white supremacist shot Flynt outside a courthouse in Lawrenceville, Ga. The attack came as Flynt walked across the street to meet Cambria at the courthouse. The shooting left Flynt paralyzed from the waist down.

“I rode with him in the ambulance to the hospital,” Cambria recalled. “It was bad. I didn’t think he would make it.”

Cambria said Flynt has put “everything he has” on the line numerous times to fight on behalf of free speech.

The party was attended by judges, public officials, high-powered attorneys and some big shots from the Buffalo media, but it was Flynt who drew the most attention.

Born into a destitute family in Kentucky, he has lived a tumultuous life. After spending time in the Army and Navy, he started a strip club in Dayton, Ohio. He started several other Ohio strip clubs and began publishing a brief newsletter to publicize his clubs. That newsletter eventually grew into Hustler magazine, which published its first issue in 1974.

Geared to working-class men and featuring raunchy jokes and nude photos, Hustler became popular and made Flynt hundreds of millions of dollars. But it also made him a target of feminists, religious groups and law enforcement.

In the late 1970s, he was convicted of pornography and organized crime charges, but with help from Cambria and other attorneys, he got the conviction overturned. Cambria has represented Flynt many times since. Flynt now publishes more than 30 magazines, and is active in First Amendment issues.

He told The Buffalo News he supports President Obama and considers him a huge improvement over his predecessor, George W. Bush. But Flynt has his concerns about Obama, too.

“One of the reasons I supported Obama is that I thought he would take action to repeal the Patriot Act,” Flynt said. “He hasn’t done anything on that. I’m still waiting.”


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