James Franco Discusses Sexual Misconduct Allegations For The First Time In Four Years
James Franco has spoken about the sexual misconduct allegations he faced in 2018, in his first interview in almost four years. In the interview, Franco says he has struggled with sex addiction for 20 years, but doesn't respond to specific accusations and says his relationships with his students were consensual.
Among the many accusations, he was said to pressure aspiring actresses into performing sex scenes with him at his acting class. Speaking on SiriusXM, the actor described this as "one of the stupidest things I did", but continued to refute some of the more serious allegations of what took place in these classes.
"Over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students, and that was wrong", says Franco, who admits he now understands there is a power imbalance in these relationships. "But it's not why I started the school. I wasn't the person who selected the people to be in the class, so it wasn't a master plan on my part."
While the full interview hasn't been released yet, the conversation about the acting school does not mention the most serious accusations. A former student told the Los Angeles Times that he would "always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts". Another claims that Franco removed her vaginal guard while they acted out an oral sex scene. This conflicts with Franco's version of events, as he claims that all the acts were consensual, and did not involve his own students.
All in all, former students paint a picture of acting classes held for the sole purpose of taking advantage of them. One class that Franco taught was simply called "sex scenes", something which the actor commented on in the interview. "It was not about sex scenes. I was not teaching people how to do sex scenes or intimate scenes or anything of that nature. It was a provocative title… it should have been called contemporary romance".
Earlier this year, Franco paid $2.2 million to resolve a lawsuit brought to him by two former students. This amount will also cover a class action lawsuit involving around 1,500 former students, who claim they were defrauded.
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