James Franco agrees £1.6m settlement in sexual misconduct lawsuit
Watch: James Franco settling sexual misconduct lawsuit for £1.6 million
James Franco has agreed to pay a $2.2m (£1.6m) settlement after being accused of pushing female students to engage in explicit sex scenes on camera.
Franco was sued in Los Angeles in October 2019 by former students at his acting and film school.
The class action lawsuit, led by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, alleged he abused his position and dangled opportunities for roles in his films.
Read more: Bill Cosby breaks silence to thank court and fans after prison release
Students claimed they were victims of fraud for paying for the acting school while being sexually objectified and intimidated.
Newly revealed court filings show Franco, 43, and his business partners have reached a settlement with the accusers, and the agreement now needs to be signed off by a judge.
Under the proposals, Tither-Kaplan will receive $670,500 (£485,000) minus legal fees, while Gaal is set to receive $223,500 (£161,000), minus legal fees.
The rest will go to other students as well as legal fees.
The lawsuit alleged abuses took place at Franco’s Studio 4 film school, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2017.
Watch: Seth Rogen does ‘not plan’ on ever working with James Franco again
Tither-Kaplan had previously come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against Franco, which he denied at the time.
Read more: James Franco's Zeroville bombs at the box office
If a judge signs off on the settlement, all parties will release a joint statement in which Franco would continue to deny the allegations.
It would read: “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 address 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.”
Seth Rogen, who has collaborated with Franco several times in the past, recently said he had no plans to work with him again.
With reporting by PA.