Five women have accused James Franco of sexual misconduct in a new exposé.
The article, published in the Los Angeles Times, claims that during a consensual relationship with Violet Paley, Franco once forced her into performing oral sex on him while they sat in his car.
The four others were all attendees of Studio 4, the now-defunct acting school set up by the 39-year-old actor. They say he asked them and indeed others to perform topless or completely nude on his projects.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan claims Franco removed a protective piece of plastic covering their private parts while simulating oral sex in a orgy scene.
Hey James Franco, nice #timesup pin at the #GoldenGlobes , remember a few weeks ago when you told me the full nudity you had me do in two of your movies for $100/day wasn't exploitative because I signed a contract to do it? Times up on that!
— Sarah Tither-Kaplan? (@sarahtk) January 8, 2018
Both Sarah and Violet aired their allegations on Twitter Sunday night as Franco scooped a Golden Globe for his performance in The Disaster Artist.
Franco’s lawyer Michael Plonsker, speaking on his behalf, denied all five allegations. Franco did however apologise to Sarah and Violet over the phone, according to the two women.
Many are the allegations of sexual misconduct at Studio 4. Sarah recalled a time one actress declined to appear topless in a scene and was never asked back to the set by Franco.
However, another actress who appeared in the orgy shoot said that while the scene did happen ‘the allegations about the protective guards are not accurate.’
Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?
— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 8, 2018
Cynthia Huffman, casting director at Studio 4, also said she personally checked on all the actresses during the shoot.
James is all about giving up and comers, actors and actresses and young filmmakers a break in this business
I feel horrible 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.
Franco was recently grilled by talk show host Seth Meyers where he addressed the accusations, saying:
I did read (the tweets), I haven’t responded. I think, well, the ones I read were not accurate, but one of the things that I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had.
There are people, women and others, who have not been a part of this conversation. And I truly believe — and why I was wearing the pin, is that they need to be a part of this conversation, and so I support that.
You can read the full exposé here.