James Franco Pays $2.2 Million To Settle Sexual Misconduct Lawsuit
James Franco was accused of intimidating students at his acting and film school in 2019. After several hearings, Franco and his co-defendants have agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit. The confirmation came out after the court filings were made public yesterday (June 1).
A joint statement issued by both the parties read, “While Defendants continue to deny the allegations in the Complaint, they acknowledge that Plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood.”
“All agree on the need to make sure that no one in the entertainment industry — regardless of sex, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation — faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind,” the statement read further. The two parties had struck a deal to settle the class-action suit in February. The delay happened because it took several months to sort out the details.
Franco was accused by actresses and his then ex-students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal of pushing his students into performing absurdly explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting” that went far beyond those acceptable on Hollywood film sets. The suit was filed in October 2019 by the two female students. Many other students also came out in support to talk about Franco’s inappropriate behaviour.
Earlier, Seth Rogen had addressed the James Franco allegations and said, “What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that.”
Seth Rogen also added that the allegations have affected their personal friendship as well. The actor said, “I don’t know if I can define that right now during this interview. I can say it, um, you know, it has changed many things in our relationship and our dynamic.”