This is a rush transcript from "On the Record ," March 13, 2008. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

GRETA VAN SUSTEREN, HOST: "Girls Gone Wild" founder Joe Francis out of jail after spending nearly a year in jail. And what a tortured legal drama this has been.

Joe was in a Nevada jail for tax evasion charges. He still faces trial for those charges. But before that Joe was in a Panama City, Florida, jail, which he said was just awful.

And just yesterday Joe Francis pled no contest to charges of child abuse and prostitution in Panama City. The charges stem from a 2003 case involving the filming of under-aged girls. Here's what Joe had to say about how he was treated in the Florida jail.

(BEGIN VIDEO CLIP)

JOE FRANCIS, "GIRLS GONE WILD" FOUNDER: What they did to me down there, Greta--I was in a civil lawsuit. I had no criminal record. I had never been to jail before. They would shackle me in the shower, handcuff and shackle me, make me walk naked around.

I was fantasizing about Abu Ghraib stories. That would have been an improvement on what they did to me.

My father and my parents, it's just--it's probably some of the most emotional visits that I've had with them. But, I mean, they'd come see me, and one time I was chained up, and I was down there like Hannibal Lector. And they came on the other side of the glass and they were crying, and I was crying.

I haven't done anything. I mean, these people are just getting off on destroying my life, you know? It's sick. I can't believe it can happen. It's happening here in the United States. I sit in the cell every night, I wake up, and I scream.

(END VIDEO CLIP)

VAN SUSTEREN: Now Joe Francis joins us live in Los Angeles. Good evening, Joe. And I have to ask the question--what was it like walking outdoors after a year in jail?

FRANCIS: Oh, it was weird. I mean, it was strange. And, you know, you can make all the preparations you want with cars and people handling different things for you, but just--it was odd, you know? My life was confined to a very small room, that being the general population area, and a very small cell, which I was locked into.

So it was very weird, a very weird experience.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me make sure that I understand this whole procedure. You walked out in Nevada on bail, and you had to go to Florida, then, to answer to the charges in Florida. And once there--is that right?

FRANCIS: Yes, but here's the inside story, because, obviously, your viewers and you have helped me so tremendously. I'd like to tell what really happened to you.

After you aired your piece, you know, after you came down to the jail, Steve Meadows, the prosecutor, had performed various degrees of prosecutorial misconduct.

We filed that motion, and this plea was actually in the works from that time. He had been begging to do this plea. I've had this on the table for quite some time, but my refusal to plea to a felony is what delayed the actual plea itself.

But, you know, it was no time, no probation, nothing. It was just a huge victory, other than the fact that these corrupt individuals were able to keep me incarcerated illegally for 11 months of my life without ever committing a crime, by just being denied bail.

VAN SUSTEREN: Let me point out one thing, because Roy Black, your lawyer, if he were here he'd want to point this out, is that what the plea was to is "no contest."

FRANCIS: Oh, yes.

VAN SUSTEREN: --which is not a guilty plea.

FRANCIS: Yes, not guilty.

VAN SUSTEREN: Lawyers sometimes will have their client do that because the deal is usually you get to get out of jail, so you plead to "no contest," essentially.

FRANCIS: Yes. I refused to plead to a felony, I'm sorry. I pled to no contest.

But the whole thing was totally ridiculous. It was a politically motivated, corrupt prosecutor by the name of Steve Meadows, who committed various felonies.

What this guy did, Steve Meadows, is far beyond what Mike Nifong ever did in the Duke lacrosse case, and it's documented. But the problem in our case was we had a judge that was in on it. In the Nifong case, you had a check and you had a balance, you had a judge that wasn't willing to go along with a corrupt prosecutor.

And, Greta, if you remember, when we first brought these allegations out, you publicly on your show challenged Steve Meadows. The next day the judge in our case issued a sua(ph) sponte(ph) order, almost a gag order, to protect the prosecutor, so he didn't have to answer your questions and answer to you.

And little things like this have happened all along here, and it's just been a game. And this guy is running for reelection and thought he could run off my back and my life, and it's just disgusting.

There needs to be--we have to depoliticize the criminal justice process, because it does not work.

VAN SUSTEREN: And I should point out--it is not in any way to endorse your business or anything else, but, as I understand it, Joe, is that you were prosecuted because somebody you hired took some video of some underaged--the underage lied about it, and you weren't even there. But because you're the boss of the company, you're the one who the charge got stuck on.

FRANCIS: How about this? There's even more separation than that. It is an independently contracted cameraman that we purchased footage from, not directly even employed by us or authorized by us, that we purchased footage from--footage they claim was intended for us to buy.

And this person did not work for me. I was not present. These girls showed a fake I.D. They lied about their age. They signed written release forms.

This was a vendetta from what we talked about--

VAN SUSTEREN: We've only got 30 second left, but let me ask you--your Nevada case, tax evasion, those are serious charges. When do you go to trial on those?

FRANCIS: Serious charges, but already been offered essentially a no time plea deal on that. So I don't anticipate that to go anywhere. But I'm going to fight those.

VAN SUSTEREN: One last question. Have you been running your business from jail the last year?

FRANCIS: Yes, at 14-minute interval phone calls, all recorded, I've been running my business from jail.

VAN SUSTEREN: See if you can't stay out of trouble, Joe.

FRANCIS: Greta, thank you so much for all of your support and your help and your viewers, and the millions of you that went to meetJoefrancis.com. Thank you all.

VAN SUSTEREN: We only wanted the system to be fair to you like everybody else, Joe.

FRANCIS: Greta, normally, it should be a judge, and "On the Record," Greta, you were the checks and balance to this situation, and you were the one who brought upon justice, not anyone else.

VAN SUSTEREN: I can't take credit for that. But anyway, Joe, nice to see you, and thank you for joining us.

FRANCIS: Thank you.

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