Mo. woman wins $5.8M in 'Girls Gone Wild' case

Associated Press Modified: April 27, 2012 at 7:45 pm •  Published: April 27, 2012
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The video was made at a bar then known as the Rum Jungle near the St. Louis riverfront. Earlier court testimony indicated that a woman acting as a contractor for "Girls Gone Wild" pulled down Favazza's shirt at the shoulder strap, exposing her breasts.

Favazza, now a 26-year-old wife and mother, claimed that she only became aware of her appearance in the video when a friend of her husband pointed it out. She sued soon after learning she was in the video.

Three months after a jury sided with "Girls Gone Wild" in 2010, the judge in that case, John J. Riley, ordered a new trial, ruling that the verdict didn't reflect the weight of evidence. He wrote that it was clear in the video that Favazza was an "unwilling participant," saying she is seen mouthing the word "no" as her shirt is pulled down.

But attorneys for Mantra Films and MRA Holdings said at the first trial that signs posted at the bar explained how the video would be used.

The case took another twist in January when Dalton withdrew as counsel. When the judge heard the case on Feb. 17, Favazza's attorneys presented their case, but there was no representative for Mantra Films or MRA Holdings.

In asking for the judgment to be set aside, Dalton wrote that the defendants "reasonably and rightfully believed they were still represented by counsel and that the cause was being defended."