James Franco accusers respond after actor admits to sleeping with students

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  • James Franco
    James Franco
    American actor
Photo credit: SiriusXM - YouTube
Photo credit: SiriusXM - YouTube

Note: The following article contains discussion of sexual misconduct allegations that some readers may find upsetting.

James Franco's accusers have responded after the actor admitted to sleeping with his former students at his acting school.

In 2019, the Spider-Man and Disaster Artist star was accused of using his position at his now-defunct school, Playhouse West Studio 4, to solicit sex from women under the pretence of landing roles in his films, and pushing them to perform explicit scenes on camera.

The actor was sued by two accusers, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, over his behaviour and agreed to pay over $2 million in a settlement back in June.

Franco recently admitted to SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Show that he did sleep with his students, but denied that he had started the school to lure women for sex and and blamed his issues with substance abuse and sex addiction for his behaviour.

Photo credit: Venturelli/WireImage - Getty Images
Photo credit: Venturelli/WireImage - Getty Images

In response to Franco's recent interview, lawyers for Tither-Kaplan and Gaal issued a statement to the media that reads: "It is unbelievable that even after agreeing to a settlement he continues to downplay the survivors' experiences and ignore their pain, despite acknowledging he had no business starting such a school in the first place.

"Nobody should confuse this interview with Franco taking accountability for his actions or expressing remorse over what happened. It is a transparent ducking of the real issues released just before a major holiday in hopes that he wouldn't face any scrutiny over his response.

"In addition to being blind about power dynamics, Franco is completely insensitive to, and still apparently does not care about, the immense pain and suffering he put his victims through with this sham of an acting school."

If you've been affected by the issues raised in this story, you can access more information from Rape Crisis England and Wales, who work towards the elimination of all forms of sexual violence and sexual misconduct, on their website or by calling the National Rape Crisis Helpline on 0808 802 9999. Rape Crisis Scotland’s helpline number is 08088 01 03 02.

Readers in the US are encouraged to contact RAINN, or the National Sexual Assault Hotline on 800-656-4673.

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