Excerpts from the Testimony of Larry Flynt

December 6, 1984

LARRY FLYNT, the defendant, called in his own behalf, testified as follows:


* * *

Q.  Mr. Flynt, do you recognize Exhibit 4?

A.  Yes, I do.

Q.  Can you tell us when you receive [sic], if at all, to the court?

A.  This is a list of suggestions for ad parodies that was submitted by a freelance art director in Los Angeles.

Q.  Now, when was it that -- did that come into your possession before today?

A.  Yes, it did.  I received it then and I've seen a copy of it since then.

Q.  When you say then, what date are you referring to?

A.  July of 1983.

Q.  Do you recall the circumstances of your receiving that document?

A.  Yes, I do.

Q.  Can you tell the jury the circumstances?

A.  Yes.  We invite various people in the creative arts area and cartoonist, art directors, you know, to submit ideas for ad parodies and cartoons and we pay for these ideas.  And we get them from people all over the country.

Q.  How did that come to you?

A.  Well, Mike Salisbury had been asked to submit some ideas.  He submitted a list to us and we purchased approximately four (4) or five (5) of the ideas.  We paid, I believe, five hundred dollars ($500.00) a piece for them.

* * *

Q.  Now, can you tell us, looking at Exhibit 4, which of the items on there you recognize as having been purchased from Mr. Salisbury by Hustler?

A.  The Campari ad, the Coca-cola ad, the Kool ad, the Malboro [sic] ad, the Trojans may have been one of those, I'm not sure.

Q.  Now the Campari ad is the one that you said that you purchased is number six (6) on that list, is that right?

A.  Yes.

* * *

Q.  Turning to item number six (6) on there, can you read for the jury what that item is?

A.  It says Campari.  "Jerry Falwell talks about his first times [sic].  Something like, I never really expected to make it with Mom, but then after she showed all of the other guy [sic] in town such a good time, I figured, what the hell."

Q.  Now, did you have any discussions with Mike Salisbury about this list?

A.  About the preparation of it?

Q.  Yes.

A.  No.

Q.  Was the list given to you in this form?

A.  The list was submitted to me with an attachment of art work.  Otherwise, he attached the original Campari ad.  I believe a photograph of Jill St. John was on there and then he suggested getting a colored photograph of Reverend Falwell and putting it in place of theirs and then building the text around this idea.

Q.  Was any of the words written in Number six (6) written by anyone at Hustler?

A.  No.

Q.  What did Hustler Magazine do after they purchased the items you've referred to on this list? Specifically, what did they do with item number six (6)?

A.  After the ideas were purchased they were discussed at an editorial meeting where both the art director and the editor in charge of the parodies could compare their work.  An art director does the illustration in terms of laying out the physical design of the ad.  The editor writes all of the copy that appears within -- the type that appears within the ad.

* * *

Q.  Well, let me ask you a question if there was any discussion about what was intended to be conveyed by the ad parody that you hold in your hand?

A.  Well, we wanted to poke fun at Campari for their type advertisement because the innuendoes that they had in their ads made you sort of confused as to if the person was talking about their time as far as a sexual encounter or whether they were talking about their first time as far as drinking Campari.

Of course, another thing that you had to do is to have a person, you know, that is the complete opposite of what you would expect.  If someone such as me might have been in there I don't know how people would have interpreted it.  But if somebody like Reverend Falwell is in there it is very obvious that he wouldn't do any of these things; that they are not true; that it's not to be taken seriously.  But where the irony and humor is found in this, while it might not be funny to certain people and they may not see the satire in there, they have to consider how different people around the country perceive Falwell to be in terms of his political activities, his beliefs, how he wants people to perceive him as, you know, he would like to be loved, have recognition, acceptance by the people.  There's nothing wrong with this, but when it happens, you know, ego comes into play.  The best example I can say is when somebody asks me why Reverend Falwell, the only thing I can point out is why did Walter Mondale, during the debates in Louisville, "Do you want Reverend Falwell to be involved in selecting the next Supreme Court?" Now, that was strictly to make a political point, but that means that he, more than any other evangelist is involved in the mainstream of politics.  And there is a great deal of people in this country, especially the ones that read Hustler Magazine, that feel that there should be a separation between church and state.  So, when something like this appears it will give people a chuckle.  They know this was not intended to defame the Reverend Falwell, his mother or any members of his family because no one could take it serious.

* * *

Q.  All right.  In terms of the idea of Reverend Falwell giving an interview to Hustler Magazine, what do you think the believability of that is to the readers?

A.  Well, all of our readers know that Reverend Falwell has sued Penthouse Magazine for running a legitimate interview with him, so it's doubtful -- his -- because of his personal, you know, beliefs and convictions, Hustler and myself have been a target of him and the Moral Majority, you know, for the past ten (10) years.  So it's highly unlikely, you know, that he would -- that there would be any remote possibility that he would consider giving an interview to us.

Q.  All right, now, looking at the items specifically, can you tell us what specific items in there you think are totally unbelievable?

A.  Well, you know it's a put-on when you read the first one where it says, "My first time was in an outhouse in Lynchburg, Virginia." I mean, you start off there.

Q.  Now, read the interviewer's question.  "Wasn't it a little cramped?"

A.  Well, you really don't know what that means at that point.  I mean, you know, you see the ad, you know it's a put on but --

Q.  Now, Reverend Falwell responds, "Not after I kicked the goat out." Now what to you was the believability to that suggestion.

A.  Well, you're talking about someone's first time.  It's kind of difficult for two (2) people and a goat to fit in an outhouse.  I'm not trying to be funny.  I just, you know, don't really understand the point you're trying to make.

Q.  Well, I'm asking you at this point to tell me what about this ad parody makes it so clear to you that it was something that never could be believed.  Now, let's go down the items specifically, if you can, and tell us what about this ad parody makes this impression upon you?

A.  Well, you know, as far as making it with his mother, I mean, that's so outrageous, I mean, that no one can find that believable.

Q.  What else can you tell us?

A.  The irreverence and the whole iconoclastic appeal about your mom, "Isn't that a bit odd.  I don't think so.  Looks don't mean that much to me in a woman." I mean, if this stuff was true it would be extremely inflammatory and offensive, but the fact that you know it's not true, you know, I can't comprehend how anyone could take it serious.  I mean, someone may not like it, but that's not what we're here for today is whether somebody likes it or not, but whether it's in violation of the law.

Q.  Interviewer: "Go on," reading at the middle of the page.  "Falwell: Well, we were drunk off our God-fearing asses on Campari, Ginger Ale, and Soda, that's called the Fire and Brimstone, at the time." Now, what did you think about the believability of that statement?

A.  I think it's totally unbelievable.

Q.  Is there anything in this ad parody that you thought at the time would be believed?

A.  Not anything.

Q.  Look at the language at the bottom of the left hand corner where it says, "Campari, like all liquor, was made to mix you up." Now, what did you think about the believability of that statement?

A.  Well, again, that is part of the parody on the product itself, you know, the liqueur.  I mean, you're not going to believe that really, you know, anymore than you're going to believe the material about Reverend Falwell.

Q.  Had you seen liquor advertisements before this advertisement parody was published.

A.  Pardon?

Q.  Had you seen authentic liquor advertisements before this ad parody was published?

A.  Yes.

Q.  Now, had you ever seen a liquor advertisement that told you that you -- that the liquor was made to mix you up?

A.  No.

Q.  Does Hustler advertise liquor?

A.  No, we don't.

Q.  Reading on:

"It's a light, 48 proof, refreshing spirit, just mild enough to make you drink too much before you know you're schnockered."

Now, what was your opinion about the believability of that statement?

A.  Well, no liquor company is really going to use that kind of language, you know, to describe their product.

Q.  Reading on:

"For your first time, fix it with orange juice or maybe some white wine.  Then you won't remember anything the next morning.  Campari, the mixable that smarts."

Tell us what your opinion was about the believability of that statement?

A.  That's -- I mean, that's not believable because, you know, someone is saying, you know, drink our liquor and you won't remember anything the next morning.  I mean, again it becomes obvious.

* * *

Q.  Now, when the discussion concerned Campari, was there anybody at that meeting who expressed the concern that a reader might take the ad parody to be a true statement of fact?

A.  No, no one.  But please understand how it works.  Once an editorial decision is made, Xeroxed copies of whatever goes in the magazine goes to the legal department.  We have, you know, three (3) in-house attorneys who look this over and if it doesn't have their approval on it, it don't go in the magazine.  They're often making changes because the editors, as well as myself, you know, do not have legal minds.

Q.  What effect, if any, did you intend for the ad parody to have on Jerry Falwell?

A.  We're responding to our own readership; we didn't intend for it to have any effect on him.  And the fact that he's you know, responded the way he has, you know, is just as, you know, unbelievable as the ad is.

* * *

Q.  Publishing the ad parody that is in front of you, Exhibit 1, was there any intent on the part of Hustler to hurt Mr. Falwell?

A.  No.

Q.  Now, the ad parody was published in March 1984.  Is that correct?

A.  Possibly.  I don't know.  

* * *

Q.  At the time that ad parody was published, in March of 1984, were you involved in a position to publish it?

A.  Ah, yes.  Because I recall working on this issue.

Q.  Now, when it was published, what was the intent of Hustler, if any, to hurt Mr. Falwell?

A.  There was no intent.