Five Women Accuse James Franco of Sexual Abuse

James Franco wore a Time’s Up pin on his lapel at this week’s Golden Globes, where he received one of Hollywood’s top prizes for his role in “The Disaster Artist.”

But not everyone was happy for the 39 year old leading man, Ivy League graduate, and pret-a-porter journalist. Speaking to the Los Angeles Times, five women, four of them his former students and one who called him “a mentor” have made allegations of sexual exploitation against Franco.

“I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable,” Sarah Tither-Kaplan told the Times, who is one of the five women and a former student of Franco’s. 

She recalled a nude orgy scene she filmed with Franco and several women three years ago, “he removed protective plastic guards covering other actresses’ vaginas while simulating oral sex on them,” the Times reports. 

After Franco received the honor on Sunday night, many women took to Twitter to express their dismay, and to accuse the actor of sexual abuse. Appearing on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert,” Franco went on the pre-emptive defense.

“Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things I have done…The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate. But I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long,” he said. 

In 2014, Franco used Instagram to ask a 17 year old British girl he met outside a theatre in New York if she had a boyfriend and if she was 18. After she revealed her age, he asked if she would want to get a hotel with him. 

Franco founded his own acting school, Studio 4, where female students have reported inappropriate behavior. 

In one incident, Franco had told one actor they were shooting an “art film,” and told another it was a clothing commercial. Midway through filming he demanded the actresses take their shirts off and, when they didn’t respond, stormed off angrily. 
Studio 4, which Franco had promised to pluck talent from for his own projects, closed suddenly and without explanation last fall. The schools website claims that Franco’s production company will “cast roles directly from his classes.” 
Speaking to the Times, student Katie Ryan said, “[Franco] would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts,” adding that for years Franco emailed students about auditioning for roles a “a prostitute or hooker.”
At the school, Franco also taught a Sex Scenes master class, which he turned into a docu-series. 
While filming the orgy scene in which Franco allegedly removed the plastic vagina coverings of his co-stars and performed oral sex on them, Tither-Kaplan then recalls he demanded they shoot an unscripted scene in which the actresses were to dance around topless. One actress who refused was sent home the next day.
“I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” she told the Times
In 2016, a 23 year old aspiring actress, Violet Paley, said she met Franco, who appeared to be eager to help Paley with a script she was working on. She alleges during the course of their relationship, he pressured her into performing oral sex on him.
Franco, through an attorney, has denied all allegations. On Tuesday, the New York Times cancelled an event with Franco due to the allegations. 
feature image via Hollywood Life




You get all our best writing, MILO’S VIP-ONLY podcast and a bunch of other decent stuff.