James Franco speaks out 4 years after sexual misconduct allegations: 'I didn't want to hurt people'

James Franco
(Image credit: VALERIE MACON/AFP via Getty Images)

James Franco is speaking out almost four years after his sexual misconduct scandal.

The actor's comments came after being accused of inappropriate behavior by five women in a Los Angeles Times exposé in 2018, per People. In 2019, he was sued by two women who alleged he "engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students" at his acting school. In an interview on The Jess Cagle Podcast, Franco said he wanted to "pause" and "be quiet" after the allegations emerged but that he's since been "doing a lot of work" toward "changing who I was."

The 2019 lawsuit against Franco accused him and his partners at the Studio 4 acting school, which has since closed, of "sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects." Franco admitted in the interview that "over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students, and that was wrong," but he denied that this is "why I started the school." Franco settled the lawsuit this year for $2.2 million.

Subscribe to The Week

Escape your echo chamber. Get the facts behind the news, plus analysis from multiple perspectives.

SUBSCRIBE & SAVE
https://cdn.mos.cms.futurecdn.net/flexiimages/jacafc5zvs1692883516.jpg

Sign up for The Week's Free Newsletters

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

From our morning news briefing to a weekly Good News Newsletter, get the best of The Week delivered directly to your inbox.

Sign up

"There were certain instances where I was in a consensual thing with a student, and I shouldn't have been," Franco said.

The actor also said he battled sex addiction and admitted he "cheated on everyone" before he started dating his girlfriend Isabel Pakzad, acknowledging he was "completely blind to power dynamics" and "completely blind to people's feelings." He added that he "didn't want to hurt people" but that his "behavior spun out to a point where it was like I was hurting everybody."

Earlier this year, Franco's longtime collaborator Seth Rogen said he had no plans to work with him again after the allegations. Franco called Rogen his "absolute closest work friend," and he said the comments were "hurtful" but that "I get it."

To continue reading this article...
Continue reading this article and get limited website access each month.
Get unlimited website access, exclusive newsletters plus much more.
Cancel or pause at any time.
Already a subscriber to The Week?
Not sure which email you used for your subscription? Contact us