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US casino tycoon wins $24.7m over murder plan slur

Published on Sep 11, 2012 6:52 AM

LOS ANGELES (AFP) - United States (US) casino tycoon Steve Wynn won US$20 million (S$24.7 million) in defamation damages on Monday after he was accused of planning to have a businessman killed and buried in the desert over a bad gambling debt.

Mr Wynn was awarded the damages after taking legal action against Joe Francis, founder of the entertainment group Girls Gone Wild. The week-long trial heard evidence from both men, as well as legendary music producer Quincy Jones.

Mr Francis first made the comments in court in April 2010 - where they were immune from legal action. That trial was about a US$2 million gambling debt, which Mr Francis allegedly ran up at one of Mr Wynn's Las Vegas casinos.

But he was accused of repeating them once outside court, when he was overheard by an online gossip reporter, and again on a recent morning television show, allegedly harming Mr Wynn's reputation and causing him emotional distress.

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