Five Women Have Accused James Franco Of Sexual Misconduct
They're not just rumours any more.
Five women have now accused actor and filmmaker James Franco of sexual misconduct, including allegations he pressured actresses into performing nude, and removed plastic guards from actresses’ vaginas while simulating oral sex on them.
The new allegations come from actresses who have previously worked with Franco, as well as former students of his acting school, Studio 4, and were reported by the LA Times this morning.
Two of the women interviewed by the Times were expanding on allegations they had previously made on Twitter. After Franco was seen at the Golden Globes wearing a “Time’s Up” pin in solidarity with victims of sexual harassment and assault, actresses Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan came forward to identify Franco himself as an alleged perpetrator.
On Twitter, Paley alleged that Franco pressured her into performing oral sex on him in a car while they were in a romantic relationship in 2016. She told the LA Times that she had asked Franco “can we do this later?”, but that “he was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it”.
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
The Times confirmed the story with five of Paley’s family members and friends, who all say she spoke to them about the incident at the time. Franco denied the allegations through his attorney.
The LA Times also spoke to Tither-Kaplan, who expanded on tweets she made claiming Franco had pressured her into doing nude scenes, saying that the power imbalance between them made her feel unable to say no.
Speaking to the Times, Tither-Kaplan said she witnessed an actress being sent home after balking at a request to do a topless scene; an experience Tither-Kaplan said made her feel that “you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy”. Two other student actresses interviewed made similar allegations.
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
Two other student actresses say Franco became angry when, in the midst of a film shoot, no women would agree to his request that they go topless. pic.twitter.com/rcwPCsa7g5
— Amy Kaufman (@AmyKinLA) January 11, 2018
Tither-Kaplan also alleged that Franco had removed vaginal guards while filming oral sex scenes, which the Times confirmed with another actress present. Franco’s attorney also denied these allegations.
On Late Night With Seth Meyers last night, before the LA Times article came out, Meyers asked Franco directly about the allegations against him. Franco maintained that the tweeted accusations were not accurate, but said that he would not try to actively refute them.
“I have my own side of this story, but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say just because I believe in it that much,” he said.
“If I have to take a knock because I am not going to try and actively refute things then I will, because I believe in it that much.” Franco has not admitted to being at fault in any of the alleged incidents.
Meyers also grilled Franco on now-deleted tweets from actress Ally Sheedy, which appeared to imply misconduct on Franco’s part. Franco said he didn’t know what the allegations were about, saying he had a “great relationship” with Sheedy. Meyers then pressed Franco on why he hadn’t reached out to Sheedy “as someone that you’ve had a good relationship with before to try to understand why she would have done that?”
“It was just so shocking, I don’t know. I guess I’m just letting it be,” Franco responded.
You can watch Franco’s response to Meyers in full here: