Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.
Pop culture obsessives writing for the pop culture obsessed.

James Franco reaches settlement with former students who accused him of sexual misconduct

James Franco
James Franco
Photo: Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for Turner

In 2019, two former students of James Franco now-defunct acting school accused him and his partners in the organization of using the school as “little more than a scheme to provide him and his male collaborators with a pool of young female performers that they could take advantage of.” They filed a class-action lawsuit against Franco and others involved in the school, claiming that Franco and partner Vince Jolivette “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.” Among the accusations was that one of the classes offered at Franco’s school was specifically built around sex scenes, which prospective students had to audition for on camera, with Franco allegedly keeping the videos on file and asking the students to sign over their rights to them. One of the accusers, who was in this class, said that Franco once “removed protective garments from students before simulating oral sex on them as part of an orgy scene.”

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Now, according to The Hollywood Reporter, the accusers have agreed to drop the lawsuit after reaching a settlement of some kind, though any details beyond that have not been released publicly. Those details include “how much money may be involved in the deal,” but THR says that information will be submitted for court approval in March. THR also points out that Franco hasn’t done much since the suit was filed, coming off of a couple of years where he was pretty much unavoidable both on TV and at the box office, so it does seem like this lawsuit had an impact on his career (even if it was just him decided to step out of the public eye for a while).