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Larry Flynt, muerte, revista Hustler

Larry Flynt, Porn Baron and First Amendment Activist, Dies Aged 78

Hustler’s controveral publisher and staunch defender of free speech rights died on Wednesday in Los Angeles at the age of 78.

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A self-defined Progressive, and yet hated by Feminists; a staunch defender of the First Amendment, but criticized by many Conservatives: that was Larry Flynt, a controversial purveyor of porn, founder and publisher of Hustler magazine. Mr. Flynt died on Wednesday, at age 78, in a Los Angeles hospital.

“He passed away peacefully in his sleep at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center” with his wife and daughter by his side, read a statement from Flynt’s public relations manager.

The Hustler publisher’s nephew said Larry Flynt was in frail health and had passed away from heart failure.

“From his beginnings as an Ohio strip club owner to his reign as the founder of one of the most explicitly adult-oriented magazines, Flynt consistently challenged the establishment and became a target for the religious right and Feminist groups,” read a CBS News article.

But beyond his estimated $100 million fortune, his success in the pornography industry or his various controversies, Flynt was defined by his unequivocal defense of the First Amendment.

In 1983, “televangelist Jerry Falwell sued Flynt for defamation and infliction of emotional distress after Hustler published a cartoon suggesting that Falwell had had sexual relations with his mother,” the BBC reported.

Although Falwell won in lower courts, Larry Flynt won the case in the Supreme Court in 1988. The Court argued that Hustler‘s publication was satire/parody and therefore protected by the First Amendment.

The verdict in favor of the porn provider was a unanimous 8-0 that reinforced free speech rights and the protection of satire in the United States. This court decision is history and is now being studied in law schools.

Larry Flynt’s handprints are photographed in front of his Hustler shop in Hollywood, California, USA. (EFE).
The birth of Hustler, Larry Flynt’s big business

Larry Flynt launched Hustler magazine in 1974, according to The Hollywood Reporter, which began as a newsletter, but continued to grow in size and popularity very quickly. The media outlet launched the publication with money that should have gone to pay employees’ taxes.

Hustler‘s target audience was more blue-collar than that of Playboy, which was founded in 1953, and the publication became known for its more explicit photos,” Fox News reads. “When Flynt paid paparazzi $18,000 for nude photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis, the magazine exploded and became a massive hit, lining his pockets with cash.”

Hustler publisher Larry Flynt is surrounded by women during the AVN Adult Entertainment Expo in January 2008, in Las Vegas, Nevada, USA.(EFE)
A life marked by tragedy and controversy

We can’t say that Larry Flynt had an easy life, but neither could we say that it was boring. In 1978, while standing outside a Georgia courthouse during an obscenity trial, Flynt was shot by a sniper attack, leaving him a paraplegic.

“The alleged perpetrator was never charged. However, he was executed years later, in 2013, in connection with a series of unrelated murders,” explained the BBC.

Larry Flynt had his wheelchair gold-plated and velvet-lined to give it a touch of originality and eccentricity.

For a long time he struggled with drug and alcohol addiction. His fourth wife died of a heroin overdose and his daughter Lisa Flynt-Fugate died in 2014 in a car accident in Ohio, aged 47.

“With a fortune estimated at more than $100 million, Flynt spent his final years in the political arena. When Gov. Gray Davis was ousted by California voters in 2003, Flynt was one of 135 candidates running to replace him,” CBS News reviewed. “He defined himself as ‘a pornography distributor who cares about people’ and gathered more than 15,000 votes.”

Flynt, a self-described Progressive, was a major critic of former President Donald Trump. In some aspects, he even seemed a bit obsessed.

Before the 2016 election, for example, he “offered a payment of up to $1 million for video or audio recordings of Mr. Trump engaging in illegal or ‘sexually demeaning or derogatory’ activities,” CBS News said.

In 2017, Flynt offered a $10 million reward for evidence leading to Mr. Trump’s impeachment, and in 2019 Larry Flynt Publications sent a Christmas card to some Republican members of Congress showing Trump dead in a pool of blood, with the killer saying, “I just shot Donald Trump on Fifth Avenue and nobody stopped me,” a reference to Trump’s boast that he could commit such an assassination and he wouldn’t lose votes,” CBS reported.

Larry Flynt’s life can be seen in the acclaimed 1996 film The People v. Larry Flynt, which led to Oscar nominations for director Milos Forman and for Woody Harrelson, who played Flynt.

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