Falwell lawsuit brought Flynt to Roanoke federal court in 1984

Published: Feb. 11, 2021 at 7:17 PM EST
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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ) - The legal battle between the Rev. Jerry Falwell and Hustler Magazine Publisher Larry Flynt reached the U.S. Supreme Court. But the lawsuit was first heard here in western Virginia.

Flynt died Wednesday in Los Angeles at the age of 78.

In December 1984, he appeared in Roanoke federal court, after Falwell filed suit over a parody ad that appeared in Hustler.

WDBJ7 Anchor Keith Humphry interviewed Flynt the night before the trial and was surprised when Flynt said he did not expect to win.

“I think he thought that here in what he considered the Bible Belt, a conservative, relatively small town in western Virginia, he might not get a fair shake,” Humphry said. “And so he figured he might lose here and his only hope was to win on appeal, which he did.”

Humphry attended the Supreme Court arguments that followed, and says the story was one of the most memorable he covered during his years at WDBJ7.

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