James Franco is going to pay $2.2 million to settle a legal case of sexual misconduct against him. He was sued back in 2019 by two of the former students of his acting school, who accused him of engaging in “sexually charged behavior towards female students”. France has denied the accusations ever since they surfaced and has maintained his innocence.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal attended Franco’s Studio 4 acting school, which opened in 2014 and closed down in 2017, and claimed that he abused his position and dangled opportunities for roles in his films. Moreover, the two also claimed they were victims of fraud for being sexually objectified and intimidated despite paying the fee for an acting school. They revealed that Franco tried to:
create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education.
Therefore, the two filed a class-action lawsuit against the actor. Back in February, there were reports that Tither-Kaplan and Gaal had reached a settlement with Franco. However, we only found out about the payout recently.
The involved parties will present the proposed settlement in front of a judge, who will decide to approve it. According to the settlement, Tither-Kaplan will receive $670,500, whereas Gaal will receive $223,500. The remaining $1.341 million will be divided among other students involved in the case.
James Franco will maintain innocence once judge approves settlement
Once the judge approves the settlement, the parties will release a joint statement with Franco maintaining his innocence:
The parties and their counsel are pleased to have resolved portions of this dispute and pending lawsuit. 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.
Franco has worked on several projects with his close friend Seth Rogen. These include movies like Sausage Party, The Interview, and This Is The End. However, ever since the allegations surfaced, Rogen has said he doesn’t plan to work with James Franco anytime soon.