The born-again daughter of Hustler magazine publisher Larry Flynt says a new favorable movie on the pornographer's life is highly fictionalized.
The People vs. Larry Flynt premieres in December. Oliver Stone, who has made quasi-historical films on the Vietnam War and President Richard Nixon, is a producer. Tonya Flynt-Vega, 31, says her father is given a highly sympathetic portrayal, including a scene with the 53-year-old wheelchair-bound publisher defiantly gazing off in the distance, a rippling American flag in the background. The film stars Woody Harrelson as Flynt and Courtney Love as his drug-addicted, hiv-positive fourth wife, Althea, who died in a bathtub at age 33 in 1987.
"He's been beating this First Amendment drum over and over again, saying, 'I'm defending your right to speak out,' " Flynt-Vega says. "He doesn't care about my First Amendment rights."
Flynt-Vega says she is writing a book, The Pornographer's Daughter, despite threats on her life. She attends a church in Jacksonville, Florida. Flynt has sold Hustler for 22 years, publishing everything from naked photos of Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis to an obscene parody of Jerry Falwell, for which Falwell unsuccessfully sued him.
In November 1977, Flynt, under the influence of evangelist Ruth Carter Stapleton, converted to Christ and was baptized. His daughter says Flynt reneged on his faith after a March 1978 gunshot attack paralyzed him.
"He was very bitter after he was shot," she says. "He couldn't believe in a God who would let that happen to him."
Copyright © 1996 Christianity Today. Click for reprint information.
Last Updated: October 10, 1996
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