James Franco, actor and comedian has now admitted to having had sex at his acting school with students almost four years ago after allegations of sexual misconduct.
He agreed to pay $2.2m (£1.6m) in July after being sued for engaging in “sexually-charged behaviour towards female students”.
He spoke on The Jess Cagle Podcast and said that he had “slept with students while teaching” but that this was wrong.
He claimed that the school was not set up to seduce women.
He said that he was silent for so long because “there were people who were upset with my and I had to listen”.
Toni Gaal (and Sarah Tither-Kaplan) attended Franco’s Studio 4 acting academy. They claimed Franco sought to “create an avenue of young women who were exposed to his personal, professional, and sexual exploitation in order to educate”.
A class action lawsuit was filed in Los Angeles in 2019. It alleged that he had abused his position to offer roles in his films.
The students claimed they were victim of fraud in this instance for having paid for acting school and being sexually harassed and objectified.
Franco denied the claims when they first emerged.
Payments were made eventually to Ms TitherKaplan, Ms Gaal and other students who had filed complaints.
Franco, 43 years old, stated in excerpts that he has been recovering from his sex abuse since 2016. He said that after hearing the claims against him, he had “been doing lots of work and changing who I am”.
According to him, “I think at that time my thought was, if it is consensual OK,” he said on SiriusXM’s podcast.
These comments represent the actor’s first attempt at addressing the allegation in public.
Franco answered when Franco was asked how he had been unaware that power dynamics could exist between student and teacher to influence the notion of consent.
Franco won the Oscars 2011 best actor nomination for his starring part in 127 Hours (directed by Danny Boyle).
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