Hustler publisher Flynt set to bring sex shops to the UK

LONDON - Larry Flynt, notorious publisher of the magazines Hustler and Barely Legal, is to bring his brand-extension sex shop chain Hustler Hollywood to the UK.

Flynt, whose life story was turned into the Oliver Stone film 'The People Versus Larry Flynt', is to launch two stores in the UK in Birmingham and London, according to a report in the Independent on Sunday.

They will be part of the Hustler Hollywood chain, which is run by Flynt's daughter Theresa from Los Angeles, and will sell Hustler-branded lingerie, sex toys and leisure wear in a move that will see Flynt go head to head with home-grown sex shops such as Ann Summers.

According to the report, Hustler Hollywood is investing a multimillion-pound budget in fitting out the stores in tasteful bleached floorboards and in-store coffee shops. If they are a success, Flynt could extend his UK Hustler franchise by adding a chain of lapdancing clubs.

Flynt is a controversial figure in the US, where he is championed by liberals for his commitment to upholding freedom of speech but at the same time is criticised for the way his magazines portray women, including scenes depicting gang rapes and torture. He uses a gold wheelchair after being injured in a shooting outside a courthouse in the 1970s. However, he has also been on the other end of a gun, once trying to shoot an ex-wife.

The Hustler Hollywood chain is trying to distance itself from the seedier side of pornography, with UK retail manager Marianne Tosh telling the IoS that the firm would be positioning itself alongside upmarket sex shops such as Coco De Mer and Myla.

"We will always have that stigma of being associated with Hustler magazine. But when people come into our stores, they will find them so professional, so acceptable, they will get over it," she told the newspaper.

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