The Untold Truth Of Larry Flynt

There are not many safe-for-work images that come to mind when Larry Flynt is the topic of conversation. In 1974, he launched Hustler magazine, and it's been creating buzz for both positive and negative reasons ever since. In recent years, the wheelchair-bound Flynt has kept a lower profile, but he reemerged in October 2017 to try to take down the president of the United States. His latest quest is just one of many fascinating endeavors in this media mogul's life.

He tried to save the life of the man who shot him

Flynt launched a campaign to prevent the execution of the man who shot and paralyzed him in 1978. As the story goes, a white supremacist named Joseph Paul Franklin shot Flynt on the steps of a Georgia courthouse allegedly because Flynt published a racy interracial image in his magazine. In 2013, Franklin faced execution in the state of Missouri, and Flynt tried to save his attacker's life.

"I do not want to kill him, nor do I want to see him die," Flynt said in a first-person article published in The Hollywood Reporter. "As far as the severity of punishment is concerned, to me, a life spent in a 3-by-6-foot cell is far harsher than the quick release of a lethal injection..."

"I have had many years in this wheelchair to think about this very topic," Flynt said. "As I see it, the sole motivating factor behind the death penalty is vengeance, not justice, and I firmly believe that a government that forbids killing among its citizens should not be in the business of killing people itself."

Franklin was executed weeks later.

He's working to overcome his disability

At age 73, Flynt opted to get an implant that would make intimacy somewhat feasible, despite being partially paralyzed. "Lots of men have them," Flynt told The Hollywood Reporter, explaining the mechanics of the device. 

The media mogul has been married for more than 15 years, but he doesn't pretend to be faithful to his fifth wife, former nurse Liz Berrios. "I wouldn't be in a relationship that wasn't open," he said, while also noting that his wife doesn't approve. 

He lost his daughter in a tragic accident

According to the Dayton Daily News, Flynt's daughter, Lisa Flynt, was critically injured in a car crash in Dayton, Ohio in October 2014. 

"According to a preliminary crash report by Riverside police, officers indicated [Lisa] did not have a valid driver's license and was intoxicated at the time of the crash. However, police said Flynt was unable to take tests to verify her condition," the Dayton Daily News reported. Her husband said she "had a history of seizures and doctors believe she suffered one prior to the crash."

Lisa was placed on life support and, according to Reuters, she died a week later at age 47. 

He's trying to recruit celebrities

Flynt's absence from the spotlight could be due, in part, to his tireless efforts to recruit celebrities to work in adult films or star in his magazine. 

In 2015, TMZ cameras caught up with Flynt and discussed Kylie Jenner's value in his biz. He said that footage is worth a maximum of $2 million. The following year, he targeted both Rob Kardashian and Blac Chyna, reportedly offering them a deal worth at least $1 million. He told The Hollywood Reporter that he'd give Jennifer Aniston up to $2 million to pose for the mag.

Flynt even reached out to disgraced politician Anthony Weiner in 2011, reportedly offering him a job in his company's internet division for 20 percent more than he made as a U.S. congressman. "I feel that your unfortunate resignation is a prime example of unfounded political pressure and the hypocrisy that has invaded democracy in Washington D.C.," Flynt wrote (via TMZ). That job offer came long before Weiner was sentenced to 21 months in a federal penitentiary for sending inappropriate text messages to a 15-year-old girl.

He mended fences with his archrival

If you followed Larry Flynt and preacher Jerry Falwell's epic court battle in the '80s, you know how much two men despised each other. From 1983 to 1988, they traded blows all the way to the Supreme Court, where they argued about whether Flynt's parody of Falwell published in his magazine caused emotional distress.

However, in a first-written piece Flynt penned for the Los Angeles Times after Falwell's death in 2007, the publisher reveals that they ultimately became friends, despite their fundamental differences on religion and politics. "We'd have interesting philosophical conversations," Flynt said. "We'd exchange personal Christmas cards. He'd show me pictures of his grandchildren... The truth is, the reverend and I had a lot in common."

"I'll never admire him for his views or his opinions," Flynt noted. "...but the ultimate result was one I never expected and was just as shocking a turn to me as was winning that famous Supreme Court case: We became friends."

He's still fighting hard for free speech

Flynt has advocated for free speech, in all its many forms, for decades, and he shows no signs of slowing down now. In June 2016, he made good on a promise to deliver issues of his adult magazine to Utah lawmakers. According to The Washington Times, Flynt's gesture was in direct response to lawmakers calling pornography a "public health crisis."

"The Utah Legislature is obviously confused about what constitutes a public health crisis, so I'll send them our latest issue and they can see for themselves that we're no danger to the public, only to the repressed," Flynt said. 

Republican State Sen. Todd Weiler of Utah didn't appreciate his copy. "I'm not sure what it's designed to accomplish, other than it probably helps my efforts more than it hurts them," he told The Salt Lake Tribune. "I do think it will rile up some of my colleagues, and not in the way Larry Flynt is hoping."

Flynt told The Washington Times he would "continue to publish with no apologies and no compromises." For the record: since it's inception in 1974, Flynt has provided "a free, unsolicited subscription to every member of the U.S. Congress since 1983," the Times reported.

He was MIA at a big fan event

Has Flynt gone into hiding? His absence from a scheduled appearance in late September 2017 left many people wondering where he was. According to The Fresno Bee, Flynt was a no-show at his company's 23rd store opening. Company executive Spencer Dela Cruz told the paper, "He is very disappointed, but will make every attempt to make it here as soon as possible." Flynt never made it. The show essentially went on without him as employees passed out gift bags and awarded fans with various pleasurable items for personal use. 

Flynt's absence may have been tied to a lawsuit he filed against the city of Fresno, Calif. earlier in the year. Fresno reportedly attempted to block Flynt from opening his store by changing city codes. Flynt filed a federal civil rights lawsuit, and the city lost, paying the company $15,000 in attorney fees, reported The Fresno Bee

He tried to buy Hugh Hefner's mansion

They say there's always money to be made in real estate, and Flynt's portfolio reportedly includes commercial buildings, a golf course, and homes. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Flynt banked a cool $89 million when he sold the property that housed his magazine. He reportedly purchased the Beverly Hills 10-story building in 1994 for less than $19 million, and though he no longer owns the massive building, he remains a tenant.

In 2015, Flynt diversified his portfolio by purchasing a home in Maui, Hawaii for $5.7 million. According to the Los Angeles Times, the more than 4,000 square-foot pad features a own golf course, waterfall, African Sapele doors, and white coral columns. 

The following year, Flynt took aim at his competitor, the late Hugh Hefner. According to TMZ, sources claim Flynt offered to buy the famed Playboy Mansion for $80 million, which was $120 million less than Hefner's asking price. Flynt also supposedly wanted Hefner to write a column in Flynt's magazine and to help choose the women to star in its pages. That offer was not accepted. 

He's preparing for the end

Hustler magazine's days are numbered. Flynt told Bloomberg that the crown jewel of his empire may soon disappear. "I don't think Hustler's going to be around very much longer because most people are getting their information from the internet," he said in 2014. 

Flynt didn't nail down a timeline. "It's making money now. As long as it makes money, I'll continue to publish, but we can see the handwriting on the wall," he said. "Of course, we have a huge internet presence...and we're in the broadcast television business as well... Our company has diversified so much that publishing is really less than 10 percent of our revenue." 

He's spending big money to oust Trump

In October 2017, Flynt took out a full-page ad in The Washington Post detailing why he believes President Donald Trump should be impeached and offering $10 million for information that could bring "The Donald" down. A few days after the ad ran, Flynt tweeted, "Things are getting interesting." 

Flynt has employed tactics like this before. During the 2016 presidential race, he offered $1 million to anyone who could produce evidence of Trump mistreating women. According to a statement (via USA Today), Flynt was actively searching for "verifiable video footage or audio recordings for use prior to the November 8 election clearly showing Donald Trump engaging in illegal activity or acting in a sexually demeaning or derogatory manner." That witch hunt for evidence was launched after video surfaced of Trump claiming to grab women by the genitals in 2005.

"I have always celebrated women," Flynt said in a statement. "Women in all shapes and sizes. To treat a woman like Mr. Trump himself has is both disappointing and unbelievable, especially coming from someone who wants to be our President."