James Franco sexual misconduct case: Settlement reached, lawsuit dropped

WION Web Team
New Delhi Published: Feb 22, 2021, 09.14 AM(IST)

James Franco recently won Best Actor in Comedy or Musical at Golden Globes 2018. Photograph:( Twitter )

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The lawsuit claimed that James Franco had pushed his students into performing in increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting”.

In a lawsuit alleging Hollywood actor James Franco intimidated students at an acting and film school, a settlement has finally been reached as charges of sexual misconduct were framed against him. He was founded at the school under exploitative sexual situations.

A settlement had been reached in the class-action suit brought by former students at the now-defunct school, Studio 4. It was filed on February 11 but has now been made public. 

The lawsuit claimed that James Franco had pushed his students into performing in increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting” that went far beyond those acceptable on Hollywood film sets. It alleged that the Hollywood actor “sought to create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education,” and that students were led to believe roles in Franco’s films would be available to those who went along. The said classes took place at Studio 4, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2017.

The lawsuit was first filed in 2019 by actresses and ex-students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal. According to the agreement, they will drop all claims. 

In a previous court filing, James Franco’s attorneys, while praising the #MeToo movement that helped inspire the lawsuit, called its claims “false and inflammatory, legally baseless and brought as a class action with the obvious goal of grabbing as much publicity as possible for attention-hungry Plaintiffs.” 

Previously, James had appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert and called the allegations untrue. He had said, “If I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to.” 

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