September 11, 2012 / 11:43 PM / 5 years ago

U.S. casino mogul awarded $20 million in punitive damages in slander suit

U.S. casino magnate Steve Wynn, head of Wynn Resorts Ltd and Wynn Macau Ltd, speaks during a news conference in Macau June 5, 2012. REUTERS/Bobby Yip

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) - Casino owner Steve Wynn was awarded $20 million in punitive damages on Tuesday in his defamation suit against “Girls Gone Wild” creator Joe Francis, adding to $20 million he won in compensatory damages a day earlier.

The 70-year-old Las Vegas mogul had accused Francis, 39, of slander for claiming that Wynn wanted him killed and buried in the desert over a gambling debt. A Los Angeles County Superior Court jury deliberated just four hours before returning its verdict in the second phase of the trial.

Wynn won a $7.5 million judgment against Francis earlier this year in a separate defamation case.

Reporting by Steve Gorman; Editing by Cynthia Johnston

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