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By Caleb Trent. Hustler Magazine v. Jerry Falwell. Background. In August of 1983, Larry Flynt came up with an idea for an ad It was a fake interview in which Jerry Falwell said his “first time” was with his mother. Falwell became very angry Sued Flynt and Hustler for $45,000,000

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By caleb trent

By Caleb Trent

Hustler Magazine v. Jerry Falwell


Background
Background

  • In August of 1983, Larry Flynt came up with an idea for an ad

  • It was a fake interview in which Jerry Falwell said his “first time” was with his mother.

  • Falwell became very angry

  • Sued Flynt and Hustler for $45,000,000

    • Reasons were:

      • damages for libel, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress


Larry flynt
Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt is the creator and owner of Hustler Magazine

The ad about Jerry Falwell was his idea

This was him during the pre-trial deposition


Jerry falwell
Jerry Falwell

Reverend Jerry Falwell was the founder and pastor of Thomas Rhodes Baptist Church in Lynchburg, VA

He was also a extremely conservative political advisor


Pre trial deposition
Pre-trial Deposition

  • Took place at a federal prison in North Carolina

  • Falwell’s lawyer, Norman Grutman, asked Flynt questions about the trial

  • Flynt acted very bizarre

    • He had been in solitary confinement for several months because of contempt of court conviction

    • Was also suffering from depression and paranoia


Opening trial
Opening Trial

  • Took place on December 4, 1984 at Judge Turk’s courtroom in Roanoke, VA

  • Falwell talked a lot about his past and bashed Hustler

  • Flynt’s lawyer, Alan Isaacman, said that the ad was not meant to be taken seriously at all

  • Jury said that ad could not be seen as factual

  • Flynt had to pay Falwell $200,000 for the emotional distress claim


Appeals court
Appeals Court

  • The Fourth Circuit Court of Appeals in Richmond, VA agreed with the jury about the emotional distress claim.

  • Kept falling back on when Flynt said he intended to “assassinate” Falwell’s character

  • They turned down a request for a rehearing


The supreme court
The Supreme Court

  • Alan Isaacman filed a petition for certiorari in the Supreme Court

  • Several different organizations sent arguments to the court to hear the case

  • Eventually on March 20, 1987, the Supreme Court decided to hear the case

  • It fell under the First Amendment of the Constitution

  • December 2, 1987 was when it began


The decision
The Decision

  • Isaacman handled all the questions very well

    • Said that the ad was basically a political cartoon

  • Grutman did not do well with questions

    • Did not even have answers for some of them

  • On February 24, 1988 Chief Justice Rehnquist announced that the vote was unanimous for Flynt and Hustler

  • The ad had to be made with “actual malice” in order for Falwell to claim damages for emotional distress


Larry Flynt

Jerry Falwell


Works cited
Works Cited

  • Linder, Douglas O. "The Falwell v Flynt Trial (1984)." University of Missouri-Kansas City. http://law2.umkc.edu/faculty/projects/ftrials/falwell/trialaccount.html (accessed Nov 19, 2013).


Pictures cited
Pictures Cited

  • http://1.bp.blogspot.com/-UoqW_MTg3Xw/T6hQlh-54KI/AAAAAAAACms/nzbhh_b6ETI/s320/jerry_falwell0515.jpg

  • http://4.bp.blogspot.com/_7Q-tD8eW2rE/Rks_EqContI/AAAAAAAAAUA/qL_SgjsHkJw/s400/3gm3wfo1.jpg

  • http://i1.ytimg.com/vi/-bi6CycM3mE/hqdefault.jpg

  • http://ia.media-imdb.com/images/M/MV5BMTc0MDEzNTY5MF5BMl5BanBnXkFtZTYwOTUyNzM5._V1._SX325_SY475_.jpg

  • http://sav-cdn.com/sites/default/files/imagecache/superphoto/editorial/images/savannah/mdControlled/cms/2007/05/15/170201965.jpg


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