Published: Thu, January 11, 2018
Life&Culture | By Rose Hansen

Three Former Students Are Accusing James Franco of Sexual Misconduct

Three Former Students Are Accusing James Franco of Sexual Misconduct

Four of the women who accuse Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior were students at Studio 4, the film school Franco founded; the fifth says Franco served as a mentor. "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, one former student, told The Times. Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel, who took classes from Franco at the Playhouse West in Hollywood, recall an alleged moment when they were shooting a scene in a strip club and Franco asked if anyone wanted to take their top off, and he stormed off when no one volunteered.

"He just took advantage of our eagerness to work and be a part of something bigger".

Aspiring filmmaker Violet Paley also alleged an incident in which Franco, who she was in a romantic relationship with at the time, pressured her into performing oral sex in a vehicle. The allegations against Franco come just days after he won best actor in a comedy or musical at the Golden Globes for his film "The Disaster Artist".

The TimesTalk event scheduled for Wednesday was meant to feature "The Disaster Artist" director and star and his brother and co-star, Dave Franco, discussing the film with a Times reporter.

"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", Franco said to Colbert.

Franco's attorney described the allegations as "not accurate".

"I truly believe, and why I was wearing the pin, is that they [women and others] need to be part of this conversation", Franco said of why he wore a Time's Up pin to the Golden Globes.

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"I feel disgusting that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable but we went to great lengths to make sure all the actresses in the nude scenes felt comfortable and safe".

In 2014, Instagram messages showed Franco apparently trying to hit on a 17-year-old Scottish fan. I personally checked on all the actresses constantly to make sure they were OK and comfortable.

"I have my own side of this story", Franco told host Seth Meyers Wednesday night, "but I believe in, you know, these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say".

"Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done", he told Colbert.

Franco was accused by five women of inappropriate behavior in a bombshell report published by the LA Times on Thursday.

In a statement provided by Franco's publicist, Robin Baum, Cynthia Huffman, casting director of "The Long Home" said Tither-Kaplan's description of the orgy scene was inaccurate. "I don't know", Franco said. Since the LA Times story broke, the Facebook account for The Room, the movie that Franco's Disaster Artist draws from, has publicly spoken out against Franco and the allegations. "I used bad judgement and I learned my lesson".

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Wood did not respond to an email from The Associated Press seeking comment and did not answer his cellphone. He added that the company takes pride in working with individuals who represent the values he mentioned.

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