Two women who accused James Franco of sexual misconduct slammed the actor for continuing to “ignore their pain” after he said he was wrong to sleep with students in his acting class.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who reached a $2 million settlement with Franco over his alleged inappropriate behavior in 2020, bashed the actor for his Wednesday SiriusXM interview, where he talked about struggles with sex addiction and “consensual” liaisons with his students.
“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,” lawyers for the plaintiffs wrote in a statement, according to People Magazine.
“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,” the statement reportedly continued. “Nobody should confuse this interview with Franco taking accountability for his actions or expressing remorse over what happened.”
Franco, 43, started Playhouse West Studio 4 acting school in NY and LA in 2014, before shuttering it three years later amid the accusations. He broke a four-year silence about the issue to radio host Jess Cagle, telling him “over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students and that was wrong.”
“But like I said, I, it’s not why I started the school and I, I didn’t, I wasn’t the person that selected the people to be in the class. So it wasn’t a master plan on my part. But yes, there were certain instances where, you know what I was in a consensual thing with, with a student and I shouldn’t have been,” the “Freaks and Geeks” actor turned movie star and director said.
The once-prolific Oscar nominee has worked less in the years since multiple misconduct allegations were leveled against him, as frequent collaborators shied away from the former Hollywood heartthrob.
Franco was never charged with a sex crime.