Asked about his first sexual experience by an interviewer, Reverend Jerry Falwell said, "I never really expected to make it with Mom, but then after she showed all the other guys in town such a good time, I thought 'What the hell! Neither the incestuous sex nor the interview ever happened, of course. They sprang from the imagination of a parody writer for Hustler Magazine. When the Campari parody ad appeared in the November issue of Hustler , the founder of the politically-engaged organization Moral Majority sued, alleging defamation and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The trial and appeals that followed would provide great theater, produce a landmark Supreme Court ruling on the First Amendment, and eventually lead to one of the most unlikely of friendships. Shortly after his discharge from the Navy at age 22, Larry Flynt launched a career in the adult entertainment business that would, within just over a decade, make him one of the nation's best known pornographers.
The First Amendment Encyclopedia
The Jerry Falwell v Larry Flynt Trial: An Account
The Rev. Jerry Falwell, center, listens as his legal counsel, Norman Grutman, talks to reporters outside the U. Supreme Court Wednesday December 2, after a court session dealing with a suit filed by Falwell against Hustler magazine and its publisher Larry Flynt. At right is Falwell's wife, Macel Falwell.
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Hustler publisher Larry Flynt became a free-speech activist when he defended himself in a defamation suit from Jerry Falwell, which went all the way to the Supreme Court. In the s, few figures loomed larger — or exerted greater influence — on the national stage than televangelist Jerry Falwell. Of course, that put him in the crosshairs of progressives. In its November issue, Hustler magazine published a satirical ad focused on Falwell.
Try it out for free. Public figures and public officials may not recover for the tort of intentional infliction of emotional distress by reason of publications without showing in addition that the publication contains a false statement of fact which was made with "actual malice," i. A magazine of nationwide circulation, parodying a series of liquor advertisements in which celebrities speak about their "first time," published an advertisement parody--labeled on the bottom, in small print, as an "ad parody not to be taken seriously"--in which a nationally known minister and commentator on politics and public affairs was presented as recalling, in a supposed interview, that his "first time" was during a drunken incestuous rendezvous with his mother in an outhouse. The minister, claiming that the publication of the ad parody entitled him to damages for libel, invasion of privacy, and intentional infliction of emotional distress, brought a diversity action against the magazine and its publisher in the United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia. The jury awarded monetary damages on the intentional infliction of emotional distress charge, and the court of appeals affirmed the award.