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Steve Wynn didn’t threaten to kill Joe Francis, Quincy Jones says

September 6, 2012 | 11:37 am

Steve Wynn didn't want Joe Francis dead, Quincy Jones testifies
Music producer Quincy Jones testified Thursday that Steve Wynn never told him he wanted Joe Francis dead, undercutting Francis' defense in an ongoing defamation trial.

"Did you ever hear Steve Wynn threaten to kill Joe Francis?" asked Wynn attorney Barry Langberg.

"Absolutely not," Jones said.

Wynn sued Francis in 2010 over his claims that Wynn wanted to "hit me in the back of the head with a shovel and bury me in the desert." The casino mogul testified that the "terrible lie" could potentially hurt his reputation and that of his eponymous company.

The creator of the "Girls Gone Wild" franchise, Francis said he learned of the alleged death threat from Jones, his neighbor and a longtime friend of Wynn. Langberg read from a deposition where Francis said Jones told him Wynn was "gangster" and "old Vegas" -- and therefore capable of having Francis harmed.

"That sounds like a line from 'Scarface,' " said Jones, whose quips made several jurors smile.

The Wynn-Francis feud stretches over several years and multiple lawsuits. Francis' attorneys have suggested that their fraught history is what riled Wynn enough to wish Francis dead.

Francis made the death-threat accusations while warring with Wynn over a $2-million gambling debt Francis racked up at the Wynn Las Vegas casino -- a dispute Jones said he tried to smooth over.

"If you lose the money, you pay the money," Jones said.

Francis and Wynn have also battled in court over Francis' accusations that Wynn's casino plied him with prostitutes and uses deceptive practices to keep high-rollers betting. A Nevada judge recently awarded Wynn $7.5 million in a defamation lawsuit over those claims.


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-- Ashley Powers

Photo: Joe Francis, left, and Steve Wynn. Credit: Associated Press file photos