In November 1983, Larry Flynt's pornographic magazine Hustler carried a parody of a Campari ad, featuring a fake interview with Falwell in which he admits that his "first time" was incest with his mother in an outhouse while drunk.
Falwell sued for $45 million in compensation alleging invasion of privacy, libel, and intentional infliction of emotional distress.
A jury rejected the invasion of privacy and libel claims, holding that the parody could not have reasonably been taken to describe true events, but ruled in favor of Falwell on the emotional distress claim.
This was upheld on appeal.
Flynt then appealed to the Supreme Court, winning a unanimous decision on February 24, 1988.
The ruling held that public figures CANNOT circumvent First Amendment protections by attempting to recover damages based on emotional distress suffered from parodies.
The decision in favor of Flynt strengthened free speech rights in the United States in relation to parodies of public figures.