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Larry Flynt

Larry Flynt was born at home in Lakeville, Kentucky on November 1, 1942 to Claxton Flynt and Edith Arnett.

Larry gained fame as the publisher of the pornographic magazine Hustler.

Flynt won an important case against the Reverend Jerry Falwell before the U.S. Supreme Court that prevents public figures from suing for their hurt feelings that result from satire. Writes Marxist Laura Kipnis, author of Bound and Gagged, "[Larry] has had a decisive historical and political impact in the realpolitik of state power. In the end it has been porn king Larry Flynt - not the left, not the avant garde - who has decisively expanded the perimeters of political speech."

Screw Publisher Al Goldstein writes in the forward to Flynt's autobiography An Unseemly Man: "Larry Flynt is a monster and a madman. He is a monster to those who hate freedom and a madman in pursuit of his own freedom.

"I first met Larry a quarter century ago... The American libido was still firmly chained in its backyard...

"He freely admits he stole part of Hustler's format from my magazine Screw. He went on to steal my defense lawyers and one of my best editors. That is all to Larry's credit."

Flynt writes in his autobiography: "I'm the real Beverly Hillbilly, but unlike the fictional Clampetts, I have left an indelible imprint on American society."

Born in a tiny community in the hills of Magoffin County in Eastern Kentucky, the poorest county in America, Larry became a "teenage runaway, an underage recruit in both the army and the navy, a bootlegger, a scam artist, a bar owner, the proprietor of a string of go-go clubs, an evangelical Christian, an atheist, and eventually a millionaire pornographer and publisher. A prodigious sexual athlete, Flynt was shot down in his prime by an assailant's bullet and paralyzed from the waist down." (An Unseemly Man.)

Larry's earliest memories include making a fire in a barn that blew the roof off - a metaphor for the Hustler Publisher's life.

Flynt first had sex with a chicken. He'd heard from older boys that a chicken's egg bag was just as hot as a girl's pussy. Grabbing one of his grandmother's hens, he stuck his penis into its egg bag, and banged away. When he let the chicken go, it staggered away squawking and bleeding. Fearing that someone might ask questions, Larry caught the bird, wrung its neck and threw it in the river.

This doesn't make the movie 1997 movie "The People vs Larry Flynt" which gives a romantic view of the pornographer's life.

"Scene by scene and line by line, the distortions, omissions, and outright fabrications in Larry Flynt make it a dishonest piece of work in almost every particular," writes Matt Labash in The Weekly Standard 2/17/97, who then spends seven pages backing up his charge.

In 1974, Larry Flynt founded a magazine based on his hillbilly disgust with anything pretentious - Hustler - the most reviled of the mass-circulation porn magazines. "My readers divide into two groups: the lower social classes and the highly educated. It's the people in the middle who hate me."

Looking through Playboy and Penthouse, Larry saw beautiful women with good figures but not revealing much pussy. The guys Flynt knew wanted pussy shots. Larry decided that if you got the models to spread their legs wider, you'd sell more magazines. The first issue came off the press in June, 1974.

Instead of choosing statuesque perfect-looking blondes, Larry selected girl-next-door types to uncover in Hustler's pages. And he slanted his editorial copy to provide "a forum for the kind of dark humor that characterized the mills, factories, and workplaces of ordinary people."

Hustler's November, 1974 issue featured a so-called "pink shot" where the model's vagina "opens like a flowering rose, fragile and pink."

In a December, 1975 article, the Wall Street Journal tried to explain why Hustler was already more widely read than established journals such as Esquire.

"Start off with eight grades of formal schooling and no background in the field. Appoint your girlfriend and brother, both similarly-inexperienced, to key posts. Set up in Columbus, which offers none of the professional services that magazines are supposed to need. Aim at a blue-collar audience but charge $1.75 an issue...substantially more than the competition. Turn off potential advertisers, and other, with girlie photos that beg the description "sexually explicit" and cartoons and stories of the type that used to circulate only surreptitiously. What you would have is Hustler, which is not only the fastest-growing men's magazine around but one of the fastest-growing magazines of any kind, ever."

Larry writes in his his autobiography: "We'd advertise [for models] in the littlest, shittiest weeklies and get our girls from rural areas and poor suburbs. We paid them less than a third what Playboy or Penthouse paid - $1500 compared to $5000."

The love of Larry's life - Althea Leasure - was a lesbian. She began dancing at the Columbus club at age 17, and was probably the only person, along with Flynt, who'd laid all the dancers. Larry and Althea moved in together after a 20-hour orgy which Althea arranged.

"She knew an opportunity when she saw it," says Larry, "and I was crazy about three- and four-way sex. We'd just lock the office door and send out for Pizza Hut when we got tired."

Larry held regular orgies in Columbus and Los Angeles, hosting such celebrities as Al Goldstein, Gay Talese and Harold Robbins.

Gambino crime-family porn king Robert DiBernardo handled much of Hustler's distribution on the East Coast. "I've known a lot of mob people in my life," says Flynt. "I've even been friends with a couple of them."

Gangsters dominate Flynt's vocational choices - pornography, magazine distribution, bars, and vending-machine businesses. One Flynt employee had his car bombed and another was shot within eight months of the attempt on Flynt's life. The Cleveland Press reported in 1978 that Flynt's publishing interests were helped along by mobbed-up vending machine companies.

Neither Larry's autobiography - which he "wrote" after reading the movie script - or Forman's movie give an accurate picture of the pornographer. Larry claims there was "more hank-panky in a church pew than in my clubs" but a former exec says the clubs "had a policy of closing up around three AM, then turning the customers and dancers loose on each other." He says the only thing that kept the Hustler clubs from being whorehouses was that not every customer was guaranteed sex for his cover charge.

The moving scene where Flynt speaks at a rally in front of a screen showing intercutting images of naked women with mutilated bodies from various Vietnam atrocities, asking what is more obscene, war or a woman's body, never happened. Lawyer Herald Price Fahringer: "I was certainly the main speaker there. I don't know whether Larry spoke. ...But all this stuff about the First Amendment with that rear projection behind him, there was none of that..."

The movie shows Althea telling Larry that nuns at her orphanages molested her. But in both orphanages where Althea lived, there were no nuns.

Larry certainly didn't find out about Althea's AIDS while in prison, nor did Hustler staff refuse to shake her hand, nor did he wheel Althea to her final bath nor did he discover her dead body, nor did he cry when he heard about her death. The movie portrays all of the above lies.

Flynt owed millions of dollars to mob moneylenders based in South Florida. "Unknown to him, they considered Althea Leasure a "loose cannon" who "knew too much," and it was they who arranged her murder in the guise of an accidental drowning induced by a drug overdose." (What Wild Ecstasy, p.361)

Larry's dedication to free speech is no deeper than his pockets - his publications frequently censor their editorial departments when advertisers protest. At the same time, Larry's magazines, such as Hustler Erotic Video Guide, bash others, such as Adult Video News, for supposedly doing the same thing.

Larry Flynt Publications frequently gag their employees from speaking to the news media. In 1976, Flynt fired Bill Margold for refusing to change a negative review of the book Show Me that Larry sold.

Porn writes Rodger Jacobs wrote in the June 1999 edition of Eye magazine: "...[I]t was hard for me to believe that snuff films produced for a commercial profit did not exist --- certainly there are monsters out there who would buy the product --- but my editor at Larry Flynt Publications urged me to “stay away from snuff films” in my article “because LFP’s editorial position is that they are an urban myth.”"

Opponents of porn appear shallow, cookie-cutter characters in both the movie and the autobiography. Larry is clearly the hero.

Two hundred pounds begins to give you an idea of the discrepancy between Larry Flynt and the Woody Harrelson character.

"We knew we needed a real star because the subject mater was so strange," says screenwriter Scott Alexander. "The studio would not have been comfortable if we had gone with Tom Arnold."

In 1976, Larry bought graphic photos of Hugh Hefner having sex with one of his girlfriends but decided not to publish after a personal appeal from Hefner. The Hustler publisher soon found himself at weekly parties at the Playboy Mansion where he schmoozed with Tony Curtis, Terry Southern, Dennis Hopper, Jim Brown and other Hollywood types.

At one party, Larry met raunchy porn photographer Suze Randall who became close with Flynt and Althea. "Althea was always pulling me into closets and forcing me to pleasure her," remembers Suze. "God, she was exhausting! And Larry was even worse! They were the greatest perverts I have ever encountered."

Randall's friendship with the Flynts ensured that her movies received sterling reviews from Hustler. Suze's flick Star Virgins was named Hustler's Film of the Year for 1980 six months before its released.

While screwing Suze, Althea and company, as well as publishing Hustler, Larry flirted with Jimmy Carter's evangelist sister Ruth and her brand of Jesus fever. Those around him never knew if he'd be praising Jesus or demonstrating sodomy techniques on his newest cream puff while Althea and Randall cheered him on. (Los Angeles 11/96)

Because of Hustler's editorial content, as well as its explicit pictures, Flynt began spending as much time in court defending Hustler as running it. Outside a Lawrenceville, Georgia courthouse where he was on trial yet again for obscenity, on March sixth, 1978, Larry was shot. The film's epilogue says that Flynt's "assailant was never brought to justice." Partly true.

The white racist who confessed to the shooting, Oswald-type Joseph Paul Franklin, lives on Death Row after convictions for racially motivated murders. The government wanted him for questioning as early as 1980, and was indicted in 1984. He was never brought to trial because Larry and his lawyer who were shot didn't want to press charges of aggravated assault against a man already serving six life sentences for murder.

It is not at all clear that white supremacist Franklin shot Flynt. Instead, porn industry insiders suspect that it was a Mafia hit. Flynt owed the mob millions.

John Heidenry writes on page 209 of his 1997 book What Wild Ecstasy:

But his [Flynt] distribution company would turn out to be Flynt's one serious miscalculation. Many of the less successful and raunchier men's magazines were distributed by companies under Mafia control. But Flynt thought he was invincible, a superman who could buck not only the federal government, but the underworld... Flynt asked himself why he should pay a percentage to the Mob. After all, he reasoned, it amounted to only a fe cents a copy. They probably made so much money elsewhere, they would never miss it anyway.

But the Mob did miss that extra few cents, multiplied by several millions twelve times a year. Nor did it like an uppity hillbilly showing it no more respect than he displayed toward a centerfold with a bag over her head. Most ominously, Flynt was deeply in debt to Mob moneylenders, and was ignoring their demands for repayment. (pg. 209)

From pg. 231:

Flynt told Althea he thought the CIA did it [shot him]...But some inside the porn industry knew the Mob was angry that Flynt had been distributing his own magazine and decided to send him a serious message." (What Wild Ecstasy, p. 231)

Flynt spent six months in hospital, after which he dropped Christ and "put his money on narcotics. He and Althea began to imbibe enormous doses of Dilaudid and Demerol, synthetic opiates that mimic the effects of morphine and heroin." (Los Angeles 11/96)

The People vs. Larry Flynt premiered on Christmas Day, 1996. "The Christmas movie season is Hollywood's time for thinking about large subjects," writes Hanna Rosin in the 1/6/97 issue of The New Republic. "In the summer, it may be all sex, drugs and violence, but the winter solstice is a serious time, and it calls forth serious cinema about, well, sex, drugs and violence. But not pointless sex, drugs and violence. Sex, drugs and violence with a message.... This Christmas, pond scum is intellectually chic. Larry Flynt, once merely a millionaire publisher of vile, racist, scatological, pig-ugly and violently women-hating porn, has arrived, finally, at respectability's doorstep. Dredged from the sump just in time for Hustler's twenty-fifth anniversary, the old slimemaster has been retrofitted as a hardscrabble defender of American freedoms."

The movie gives the impression that Larry only took drugs to alleviate his pain after the shooting. In truth, Flynt began a ten-year methamphetamine habit in the 1960s.

Larry ran for President in 1984 as "A Smut Peddler Who Cares" and published a parodi of a Campari ad portraying evangelist Jerry Falwell as a drunk who'd committed incest with his mother in an outhouse. When Falwell sued and won, Larry successfully appealed the case to the U.S. Supreme Court.

"If Falwell had won in 1988," says Newsweek's Johnathan Alter, "it would've been the end of freedom as we know it in this country. What parody or cartoon or political barb does not "inflict emotional distress" on its targets?"

From the movie you'd get the impression that Althea was the only woman Larry married. Not true. Three months after her funeral, Larry married for the fifth time - a mail order bride. It didn't work out. So he got himself a penile pump and began an affair with his then nurse, Liz Berrios.

Milos Forman's supposedly harsh examination of Flynt's life is really as soft and gauzy as a Playboy bunny shot, says The New Republic. The director excuses his dishonesty by pleading artistic license. "Biopics are boring."

"But what Forman chose to omit is the central (and, incidentally, more interesting) truth of Flynt's life and what he chose to include works to mitigate against that truth, in favor of what's politically apt." (TNR)

Newsweek's Johnathan Alter calls the film "riveting" and "proof that raunchy entertainment can be highly entertaining." But Alter disagrees with the movie's logic and how it applies to ongoing debates over such matters as Wal-Mart not selling nasty CDs.

Alter faults The People vs. Larry Flynt for not distinguishing between government efforts to jail or silence Flynt and the freedom of magazine distributors to keep Hustler off their racks.

"We minimize the true threat of government suppression of speech when the word "censorship" is casually applied to private decisions of morality or commerce," writes Alter.

"The distinction between what anti-smut crusaders do in court - versus out of court - is essential. Artists and journalists must repeatedly draw a bright line here in the pubic consciousness. Otherwise, William Bennett, C. Delores Tucker, Sen. Joseph Lieberman and others using free speech to battle cultural pollution will be lumped in with Jerry Falwell and the truly dangerous prosecutors who threw Larry Flynt in jail. Bennett and his compatriots are not saying rap artists or record producers should be imprisoned... They're simply saying that big-name companies like Time Warner and Seagram's should be stigmatized when they underwrite songs urging kids to shoot each other and act like gangsters. Wal-Mart is not saying you can't make a CD full of explicit sex or gangster garbage; it's simply saying Wal-Mart won't sell it. Huge difference." (Newsweek 12/23/96)

One of Larry's daughters accuses him of sexually abusing her, and the 2/17/97 Weekly Standard article on Flynt reveals evidence that gives her claim credibility.

"Come over here and let Daddy put his big dick in your little pussy." Tonya, the daughter of Flynt's second wife Peggy, claims those are the words Larry spoke to her on one of her many visits.

Since mid 1996, Tonya's been telling anyone who'd listen that Flynt molested her between the ages of 10 and 18. The Hustler publisher calls her wacko.

"I went into the nuthouse because of what my dad did to me," she says. Like Linda Lovelace, Tonya is friends with feminist Gloria Steinem.

A psychiatric evaluation of Tonya in 11th grade describes her as a manic depressive with horrible anxiety.

"He's the one that's portraying cut-off body parts and severed nipples and clitorises with fishhooks in them [in Hustler]," says Tonya. "Who's got the mental problems?"

Tonya reveals a Christmas card that she says her father sent her when she was a child. The inscription says "Santa Claus is coming." On the inside, a naked girl gets Santa off. He showers the sky with his ejaculate.

Tonya says her father whipped her with a belt, made her watch porn videos, put her on a liquid diet and weighed her every Friday when she lived with him. Tonya's half-sister Theresa, who works for Flynt, confirms this claim.

Larry made Tonya "take my panties off," she says. "He'd make me do it so I felt scared and ashamed and humiliated, and he'd get his jollies off doing that.

Flynt wrote letters to Tonya's half-sister Judy, born in 1964, signed "Dad." Judy's mother is Peggy. She was conceived while Larry was overseas. When he returned home, Flynt beat up Judy's father so badly that he still limps.

Until she was 14, Judy regarded Larry as her father. When Judy was 20, Larry asked her to marry him. He wrote: "Althea resents you only because she doesn't know who you are, she thinks Frank was your father [he was], and only you and I know the truth. It was my way of punishing your mother for f---ing everyone else except me."

Althea's sister Marcha and her husband Bill, Flynt's longtime chief of security, says Larry not only beat Althea, but he also fired a .38 Smith & Wesson at her, a weapon Bill Rider says he had to take from his boss's hand.

Bill and Marsha Rider own a tape made by Althea where Larry admits to molesting his daughter Theresa when she was 13.

Matt Labash reveals the contents of the tape in his Weekly Standard article.

Althea's conversation with Larry begins with her confronting him over what Theresa had just told her - that her dad had her lie naked next to him in bed.

Flynt: "So I told her...she looks a lot like her mother. I told her her mother was skinny and she had a nice-lookin' body, I think you should take my advice and we'll take off your gown, and I said 'Theresa, all you need to do is lose 25 pounds. That's all you need to do.' I said, 'You know, I said you're built exactly like your mother.' I said, 'Your cunt even looks like your mother's'."

Theresa enters the room. After coaxing by Althea, she says her father wanted to know how many times she'd done it, if she'd ever had an orgasm and that he'd suggested she take off her nightgown.

Flynt explodes: "Pack your f---ing clothes and get out of this house."

Althea presses Larry about whether he put his hand on Theresa's thigh.

Flynt: "Althea, I didn't play with her cunt."

Althea asks if he spread her legs.

Flynt: "No. She didn't want me to and I didn't."

Theresa: "He just went like that and then I said, 'Nooo.'

Now 27 years of age, Theresa defends her father of charges of molestation. She remembers "vaguely this taping... but I know that Dad never did anything to me.... I've slept in the same bed with my dad probably over 2000 times as a kid..[until I was] probably 15..."

Every major publisher in New York turned down the opportunity to publish Larry's autobiography. "Those who benefitted the most from Larry Flynt's landmark First Amendment trials - American's publishing giants - were unwilling to print his story," notes Alan Nevins, of the Renaissance [Literary] Agency which represents the Hustler publisher.

While Columbia lost millions of dollars on the movie, and the Flynt autobiography sold poorly, Larry's company LFP Inc. gained from the exposure.

Hustler sales are up ten percent since September 1996 to 500,000. An LFP magazine bio of Flynt sells well. Bottom line: Larry's $110 million Beverly Hills publishing company expects to gain four million dollars from the movie.

It appears that LFP needs all the help it can get. Larry is the sole owner of the company and reliable financial information about it "is as wispy as the clothing on a centerfold model," writes Constance L. Hays in the 4-7-97 New York Times.

Since 1996, the company has sold its distribution wing and closed most of its mainstream magazines. "Retrenching to this hard-core core is a risky strategy at a time when large chunks of the readership are finding the same photography and mindset through other media - often for less."

More than half of Hustler's press run of less than a million copies are returned unsold. The skin magazine business in general is not as profitable as it was, according to analysts. "The readers are aging with the owners," says analyst Martin S. Walker. "They're not keeping up with the fantasies of youth."

The July, 1997 issue of Hustler featured 71 pages of paid ads, mostly for phone-sex and mail-order. The prices peak at $25,000 for a four-color full page, while magazines with comparable circulation to Hustler charge twice as much.

It's hard to gauge the future of LFP because the 54-year old Flynt has no heir apparent. "It's hard to think of anyone within the established media who would buy it, because it's got that attached stigma," says one media analyst. "If a magazine like that were for sale, someone outside the industry would probably buy it. It would be an ego buy from someone who wants to live that life style."

"These are the days of Perversion Chic," proclaims the March 1997 issue of Vogue. "After a decade in which America often seemed to be gripped by a new Victorianism, kinkiness has abandoned the margins and begun conquering the mainstream, which is increasingly filled with tales of cross-dressing and sodomy, incest and child rape, bondage, bestiality, and necrophilia. The line between art and pornography keeps growing fainter."

Familiar categories are breaking down as we head for the millenium - "itself a trigger for all sorts of freakishness... No one seems quite sure what a perversion is anymore, let alone a pervert. Yesterday's sleazeball is today's cultural hero; Hollywood now treats Larry Flynt as an adorably crass defender of cherished constitutional values..."

From XXX 8/99:

Is paraplegic porner Larry Flynt--who recently copped an obscenity plea in Ohio--drowning in red ink? He's dropping millions of dollars gambling in Las Vegas and just decided to close down three of his magazines, (Jail Babes, Honey Buns and Black Sugar), and firing the staff.

Reported The Newspaper of Record, dated 4-7-97: “...as the cost of renting a raunchy video can be cheaper than the $5.99 cover price of Hustler and as sexually explicit cable television and web sites vie for his target audience...Mr. Flynt’s operation seems to be falling behind in the swiftly evolving X-rated market.”

Between 1995 and 1997, Larry Flynt Publications, Inc--a wholly owned subsidiary of its founder--"sold or closed a handful of magazines”, including Super Cycle, Maternity Fashion, and the cybersexually oriented Rage. “...nor is there a clear explanation”, reflects the Times report, “for the sale late last year [1996] of one of Mr. Flynt’s chief assets, the Flynt Distribution Company, which handled the newsstand placement not only for Flynt publications but also for others...” One industry analyst described Flynt’s sale of this asset “as a likely sign of financial trouble.”

Moreover, the embattled and sexually dysfunctional Flynt-- whose public image, like his genitalia, must be artificially inflated--forks over millions each year to P.R. operatives charged with the increasingly difficult task of keeping the diaper-wearing Flynt’s decreasingly marketable name in the public eye. Gone is the edenic, free-speech milieu depicted on film by Milos Forman. LFP's workplace today is less a mean, lean corporate contender than a vindictively bean-counting smutworks in which rank-and-file editorial workers are subject to draconian rules and sudden purges.

“Larry instituted a dress code,” recalled former LFP editor Lisa Jenio in New Times. “It had no jeans, sneakers, tee shirts, combat boots or open-toed sandals, and men had to wear jackets and ties. This was right around the time that IBM and other huge companies started to relax their dress codes... You weren’t allowed to hang up anything personal on the walls of your office [nor] hang up bulletin boards [and] we had to move our desks so no electrical cords were showing. And when we moved into this building in Beverly Hills, he bought the building and the parking garage, but we weren’t allowed to park there. We had to pay $70 a month.”

All this and less has underwritten the price of Larry Flynt’s freedom--which lately has taken the form of a reckless leap into XXX’s phantom commerce of high-volume, low-margin sales to anonymous masturbators in an ever-more-entropic marketplace. Unlike more editorially driven product, hardcore renders moot such issues as copyright though open-ended model releases that grease its self-cannibalizing, free-market trajectory into endless recylcling, repackaging, and remerchandising. The resultant byproduct works its way through the economy like a parasistic Guinea worm through an unlucky third-world intestinal tract--paying out zero royalities, minimal taxes, substandard salaries and mob kickbacks in a diarrheic flow of capital enriching only Larry Flynt’s coprophagous appetite for luxury and self-aggrandizement.

As Karl Marx observed in an exclusive l-keford.com seance, “Capitalist production begets, with the inexorability of a law of nature, its own negation.”

Larry Flynt Publishing Inc. 8484 Wilshire Blvd., Ste. 900 Beverly Hills, CA 90211 US PHONE: 213-651-5400 FAX: 213-651-3525 WEB SITE: http://www.hustler.com CEO: Jim Kohls CFO: Thomas Candy HR: Lynn Heller FISCAL YEAR-END: December 1998 SALES ($ mil): $135.0 1-YEAR SALES GROWTH: 35.% EMPLOYEES: 300 COMPANY TYPE: Private company

COMPANY DESCRIPTION [according to Hoover Company Capsules]: The Founding Fathers probably never imagined anything like Larry Flynt Publishing (LFP) when they wrote the First Amendment. But without it, the company that created Hustler magazine would never have survived. LFP began in 1976 when Larry Flynt turned the raunchy Hustler into a major US skin magazine. Today the company publishes both "gentlemen's" and mainstream magazines, about 30 titles in all, including Chic Magazine, Hustler Erotic Video Guide, Jailbabes and Skin & Ink. In 1999 Flynt escaped a possible 24 year prison term relating to a 1998 arrest for pandering obscenity at his Hustler Books, Magazines, and Gifts store in Cincinnati. He paid a $10,000 fine and agreed not to sell adult videos at the store.

In his June 14 column for The National Review, William F Buckley wrote about the White House Correspondents annual dinner:

It is doubtful that ten guests that night had bought current copies of his magazine (Hustler). This is a magazine bought by pubescent boys with untempered curiosity about sexual perversions, and by adults with insatiable curiosity about sexual perversions, "adults" who would read monthlies serializing the Marquis de Sade, if they were more literate. Larry Flynt's most recent enterprise is a cinematic offering called Jail Babes. It is a tape (the first of a series) that will feature every month a session with female ex-cons describing their crimes and life behind bars before engaging in steamy hard-core sex.

Now the survival of sadistic sex doesn't surprise­it is a social pathology. But the question was asked by more than one guest the other night, "What does John Kennedy intend, by inviting Larry Flynt as his guest?"

If there is another answer to that question than: To shock everybody and draw attention to himself­come up with it, and send a copy to Professor Arthur Schlesinger, to file for his next exonerative bulletin on the Kennedy family. One guest, endeavoring to answer the question Why?, recalled the extraordinary issue of George magazine (founded and edited by JFK Jr.) which last year drew attention by exhibiting a picture of Kennedy apparently nude, "artfully seated [showing] only limbs, chest, and face as he ponders a dangling apple," in the words of the AP. What made him do that? Has he got a problem?

Moreover, in the same issue of his magazine Mr. Kennedy was delivering a Pecksniffian lecture to assorted cousins for licentious behavior. Cousin Michael had been exposed as having seduced his baby-sitter, and of course Cousin William had stood trial, accused of raping a guest at the family compound on Good Friday. JFK Jr. wrote in his magazine that these Kennedys were "poster boys for bad behavior." The AP story went on to list other Kennedys who gave steady way to the call of the flesh, but not any other Kennedy who would seek the public company of the nation's primary pervert.

At Saturday night' s dinner Larry Flynt did not have to draw attention to himself by showing a picture of a woman in bonds shrinking before an assailant brandishing an egg beater­he could instead lean across and tell this poster boy a joke.

August 25, 1999

Larry Flynt Publications has closed three of its magazines - Jail Babes, Honey Buns and Black Sugar. Numerous staffers have been fired.

LFP employees found out last week about the closings. Jail Babes editor Mark Cromer was shocked and fired (or fired and shocked). His magazine earned tons of publicity but only dribbles of male seed. Luke bought two issues and never jerked off once to them.

XYZ: "Larry Flynt went to Vegas a couple of months ago and dropped four million dollars gambling... A few weeks ago, the paper showed a picture of Larry getting a million dollar check from the Hilton. Then they fired the Hilton's head of publicity... When he's gambling, he says, this is better than sex. He bets $45,000 a hand.

"Marc Wallice did gay escort work. He loved to get f---ed in the ass. All those guys, Peter North, Tom Byron, Paul Thomas... PT did gay f---ing movies before he even got near the girls."

XCX: "This is standard operating procedure. LFP starts and kills magazines all the time. They killed the golf magazine Backspin while they were still doing focus groups. Even though they had hired staff for the golf magazine, once they had bad focus groups, they decided to kill it.

"With Jail Babes, even though they got a ton of national publicity, there was no trend towards growth. The numbers did not reflect adaquate profitability. That's all that matters."

Luke: "The media can go wild about something that ordinary people couldn't jerk off to."

XCX: "It was paradoxical and ironic, this whole notion of Jail Babes. It made good copy. At heart these are masturbation magazines, strictly utilitarian and if people aren't going to use them that way...

"There's a new book Code, about black man's fashion. It's to compete with GQ. They poured money into it and now it is doing well. Tons of ads."


I interviewed Theresa Flynt-Gaerke, Larry's daughter, who's V.P. of Retail Operations. She said that Hustler operates two Hustler boutiques, one in Cincinnatti and the one on Sunset Blvd. in Los Angeles. "We're looking to open more.

"Mr. Flynt decided to open one in Cincinnati to challenge the obscenity laws. It did so well that he decided to open one next to his home in Los Angeles. This one is doing well too, so we're looking at property to expand. We describe it as "Adult store meets the new millenium." My dad calls it an "erotic department store.""

Luke: "How do you feel about the porn business?"

Theresa: "I don't know. I grew up in the adult business and it doesn't affect me at all. We all got here from sex and it is always going to be here, and you can't go wrong doing business with it. And the more recognition it gets with clean stores, and movies... the cleaner we can make it with AIDS testing and education and the use of condoms... It makes people more aware [of sex] so that it's not such a dirty dark secret.

"We're going to have an AIDS benefit here and my dad donates to fight cancer and AIDS.

"My dad goes to trial May 3rd in Cincinnatti."

Luke: "Is your dad easy to work for?"

Theresa: "No, never. Family expects more from you than anybody else. He'll call me at home on the weekends and say, 'get up and go to work, what are you doing at home?'

"I want to expand. My dad isn't for advertising. I want to get our name out there more, more stores, perhaps sponsor race cars...

"I watch the [porn] movies, read the magazines, buy toys...I like something between a feature and a gonzo. A gonzo can be too hard for me and features too boring. Latex was a favorite... Seymore Butts... I'm married. My husband and I watch one or two [videos] a month."

Luke: "How do you feel about the urination pictures in Hustler magazine?"

Theresa: "Everyone else is doing it, so we're following suit. That's personal preference. It's a fetish, not mine. I don't see why people think it is sexy. But it's selling."

Luke: "Is there anything that LFP puts out that embarrasses you?"

Theresa: "No. Perhaps the cartoons at the front of Hustler called 'most tasteless.' Maybe. [Laughter] Those can be graphic."

Luke: "What if bestiality was legal? Would that embarrass yo if the company put that out?"

Theresa: "Yeah, oh yeah. I've grown up with the fact that child porn, bestiality is illegal..."

Luke: "So anything that is legal doesn't embarrass you?"

Theresa: "That's a personal.... That's hard to answer. On a business level, sot here's urination in Hustler. That's what the readers want but it is not my preference."

Luke: "If you ran LFP, how would it be different?"

Theresa: "It would be the same because I hold my dad's vision, no matter what."

Luke: "And how would you describe your dad's vision?"

Theresa: "Give your readers what they want. [Laughter] So long as it is legal, you keep your readers satisfied."

Luke: "Do you have any second thoughts about that, because people will buy anything. They would buy bestiality if they could."

Theresa: "That will never be legal so I don't even have to worry about that."

Luke: "You have a sister who hates porn."

Theresa: "She's a couple of years older than me. I've lived my whole life with my dad and I have only met her twice. So, I don't know her. She does not have enough knowledge to know what is going on.

"Myself and my little brother Larry Jr., we grew up close. My dad had five children, she was the one who wasn't around."

Luke: "How do you feel about anti-porn crusaders?"

Theresa: "I am totally for free speech... They come to events here and picket outside. All they do is get us on the news quicker, so it is better for us."