|In 1988, Flynt won an important Supreme Court decision, Hustler Magazine v. Falwell, after being sued by Reverend Jerry Falwell in 1983, over an offensive ad parody in Hustler that suggested that Falwell’s first sexual encounter was with his mother in an out-house. Falwell sued Flynt, citing emotional distress caused by the ad. The decision clarified that public figures cannot recover damages for “intentional infliction of emotional distress” based on parodies. After Falwell’s death, Flynt stated that despite their differences, he and Falwell had become friends over the years, adding, “I always appreciated his sincerity even though I knew what he was selling and he knew what I was selling. As a result of a sting operation in April 1998, Flynt was charged with a number of obscenity-related offenses concerning the sale of sex videos to a youth in a Cincinnati adult store he owned. In a plea agreement in 1999, LFP, Inc. (Flynt’s corporate holdings group) pleaded guilty to two counts of pandering obscenity and agreed to stop selling adult videos in Cincinnati. In June 2003, prosecutors in Hamilton County, Ohio, attempted to revive criminal charges of pandering obscene material against Flynt and his brother Jimmy Flynt, charging that they had violated the 1999 agreement. Flynt claimed that he no longer had an interest in the Hustler Shops and that prosecutors had no basis for the lawsuit. In January 2009, Flynt filed suit against two nephews, Jimmy Flynt II and Dustin Flynt, for the use of his family name in producing pornography. He regarded their pornography to be inferior. He prevailed on the main trademark infringement issue, but lost on invasion of privacy claims.
Flynt was a Democrat when Bill Clinton was president but stated in 2013 that he was “a civil libertarian to the core”, though he once attempted a presidential run as a Republican. He is a staunch critic of the Warren Commission and offered $1 million for information leading to the arrest and conviction of the assassin of John F. Kennedy. He once tried to link the attempt on his own life to the JFK assassination. In 2003, Flynt was a candidate in the recall election of California governor Gray Davis, calling himself a “smut peddler who cares” He finished 7th in a field of 135 candidates. Flynt has repeatedly weighed in on public debates by trying to expose conservative or Republican politicians with sexual scandals. He did so during the impeachment proceedings against President Clinton in 1998, offering $1 million for evidence and publishing the results in The Flynt Report. These publications led to the resignation of incoming House Speaker Bob Livingston. In 2007, Flynt repeated his $1 million offer and also wrote the foreword to Joseph Minton Amann and Tom Breuer’s The Brotherhood of Disappearing Pants: A Field Guide to Conservative Sex Scandals, which contained some cases published by Flynt.
In 2003, he also purchased nude photographs of Private Jessica Lynch, who was captured by Iraqi forces, rescued from an Iraqi hospital by US troops and celebrated as a hero by the media. Flynt stated he would never show any of the photographs, calling Lynch a “good kid” who became “a pawn for the government”. Flynt has supported activist groups opposed to the war in Iraq in 2004 and 2005, and is also a strong supporter of gay rights and gay marriage. On September 7, 2012, Larry Flynt offered a $1 million reward for information on Mitt Romney’s unreleased tax returns. On September 10, 2012, two full page ads appeared in USA Today and The Washington Post to promote the offer. On April 30, 2013, Flynt endorsed Mark Sanford in the 2013 special election for South Carolina’s 1st congressional district, saying “His open embrace of his mistress in the name of love, breaking his sacred marriage vows, was an act of bravery that has drawn my support.
My grandfather had Playboy and my father had Hustler. Like every adolescent boy I was known to snag one of my dad’s Hustlers from time to time. It’s a kind of right of passage for a young man. Larry Flynt has been many things, referring to himself as a glorified smut peddler, but Larry is much more than that. He is an American legend, an icon. Whether you are fan of porn or not, you owe Larry Flynt a debt of gratitude for standing up for your right of freedom of speech. Flynt has blazed a trail like no other before him sacrficing greatly. Flynt is considered by many to be the most powerful man in porn. Larry Flynt is a true pioneer andgets the ExplicitList Stamp of Approval!
Showcase written by Bender Cain