James Franco accused of causing ‘immense pain and suffering’ by former students

Two women who brought a lawsuit against him release a statement after he admits to sleeping with acting school attendees

The actor and director James Franco has been accused of being “completely insensitive” and of causing “immense pain and suffering” after an interview made public on Wednesday in which he admitted to sleeping with students at his acting school and claimed that he suffered from sex addiction.

A statement from lawyers representing two women who brought a civil suit against Franco in 2019 said that Franco, who made comments on SiriusXM’s Jess Cagle Podcast, was “completely insensitive to, and still apparently does not care about, the immense pain and suffering he put his victims through”.

The statement added: “[Franco] continues to downplay the survivors’ experiences and ignore their pain, despite acknowledging he had no business starting such a school in the first place … It was, and is, despicable conduct.”

In June 2021, Franco settled a class action suit for $2.2m (£1.64m) after the two women, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, filed a complaint against the actor, accusing him of fraud, after Tither-Kaplan and several other women aired claims of sexual exploitation in a 2018 Los Angeles Times article. Both women received substantial sums in the settlement, alongside other students of Franco’s Studio 4 film school, which was set up in 2014 and closed in 2017.

In his Jess Cagle Podcast interview, Franco said he “did sleep with students, and that was wrong” and denied that he had started the school to lure women for sexual purposes.


Andrew Pulver

The GuardianTramp

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