See you in court
After facing allegations in 2018 that he sexually exploited students at his acting school, James Franco is being taken to court.
Two former students of Studio 4, the school Franco founded, have filed a lawsuit against him, alleging he and his partners "engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects," The New York Times reports.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who filed the lawsuit Thursday, also allege the inexperienced women at the school were "routinely pressured to engage in simulated sex acts that went far beyond the standards in the industry," per the Times, and that the school aimed to get around California's regulations that forbid requiring actors to pay for auditions, NPR reports. Franco's lawyer says the actor will "fully defend himself" against the "debunked" claims.
The two former students told NPR that women who were willing to do nude scenes and "push the envelope" in Franco's Sex Scenes class, which did not inform students about industry standards like nudity riders, were rewarded with offers of work, most of which required nudity.
Allegations of misconduct at Franco's school, which closed in 2017, emerged in a Los Angeles Times piece last year, for which Tither-Kaplan was interviewed. Violet Paley, an ex-girlfriend of Franco's, additionally told the Times he coerced her into performing oral sex. In an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert shortly before the Times' piece, Franco said, "In my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I've done ... If I've done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to."