James Franco is finally responding to sexual misconduct allegations made about him almost four years ago.
Franco, 43, was accused of sexually inappropriate behavior by five women, four of whom were his acting students per an article published by The Los Angeles Times in January 2018.
In that same month, one of the victims, Sarah Tither-Kaplan, told Good Morning America that Franco “abused his power by exploiting the non-celebrity women that he worked with under the guise of giving them opportunities.”
An attorney for Franco at the time denied each of the allegations, citing the actor’s 2018 comments on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as his formal denial:
“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. So I don’t want to, you know, shut them down in any way.”
Franco reached a deal with Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal this past summer — two of his former acting students who filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him in 2019. Records state that he agreed to pay $2,235,000 in the settlement.
Franco sat down for a wide-ranging interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Podcast this past week to explain why he is speaking out now about the accusations.
“In 2018, there were some complaints about me and an article about me and, at that moment I just thought ‘I’m gonna be quiet. I’m gonna be, I’m gonna pause.’ Did not seem like the right time to say anything,” he recalled.
“There were people that were upset with me and I needed to listen. There’s a writer Damon Young and he talked about when something like this happens, the natural human instinct is to just make it stop. You just want to get out in front of it and whatever you have to do apologize, you know, get it done. But what that doesn’t do is allow you to do the work to, and to look at what was underneath.”
“Whatever you did, even if it was a gaff or you said something wrong or whatever, there’s probably an iceberg underneath that behavior, of patterning, of just being blind to yourself that isn’t gonna just be solved overnight,” continued Franco.
“So I’ve just been doing a lot of work,” he shared, “and I guess I’m pretty confident in saying like, four years, you know? I was in recovery before for substance abuse. There were some issues that I had to deal with that were also related to addiction. And so I’ve really used my recovery background to kind of start examining this and changing who I was.”
With a background in the creative and educational fields, Amelia Finefrock is freelance writer, singer-songwriter and nanny based in Chicago.
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