James Franco Settles Sexual Misconduct Suit for $2.2 Million

By Hannah Claire Brimelow

Actor James Franco will pay $2,235,000 to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit from October 2019.

Court documents show two of Franco’s acting students – Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal – claim
Franco and his business associates “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior
towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the
opportunity for roles in their projects.”

Named alongside Franco are Vince Jolivette, Jay Davis, and Jolivette and Franco’s production company, Rabbit Bandini.

Franco, 43, ran the Playhouse West Studio 4 in North Hollywood from 2014 until its closing in 2017. 

Tither-Kaplan and Gaal described the business as “a scam acting school.”

In the suit, they detailed the many instances of alleged misconduct. The women said that “for up to $2,000 each, students might sign up for a master class, and included $750 for a master class in sex scenes,” Newsweek reported in fall of 2019. “The suit alleges students signing up for the sex scene class had to audition on tape “so that Franco could later review the material,” and sign away their rights to the recording.”

The “Freaks and Geeks” actor was at one time intensely popular in Hollywood. His 2001 portrayal of James Dean for an eponymously titled TV biopic ear the actor a Golden Globe and an Emmy nomination. Franco was nominated for Best Actor Oscar for his performance “127 Hours” in 2010.

However, Franco made an increasing number of odd professional and personal choices in more recent years and fell out of favor with many members of his industry. He took a role on General Hospital. He briefly became a painter and was met with criticism immediately. Most notoriously, he took a selfie with a 17-year-old girl outside a Broadway Theater while starring in “Of Mice and Men” and then DM’d her and offered to rent her a hotel room.

While Franco said he was unaware of her age, he also told Howard SternI’m not going to high schools looking for dates. I’m leaving my work, and they’re coming there! . . . And look, my fan base is, like, 17-year-old girls.”

Franco initially denied the allegations made by his former students when they became public. He told Steven Colbert “Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done.” 

“I have to do that to maintain my well-being. The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate. But I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So I don’t want to shut them down in any way.”

Entertainment Weekly reports, “of the $2,235,000 in the settlement, $894,000 would go to the named plaintiffs, and $1,341,000 would go into a common fund for the rest of the members of the class action. Tither-Kaplan would receive $670,500, and Gaal would receive $223,500 — both minus attorney fees.”

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9 responses to “James Franco Settles Sexual Misconduct Suit for $2.2 Million”

  1. WoadedCelt says:

    I thought he was gay. If so, why would he do that? There is a video of him sucking dick, it’s definitely him. so …

  2. Max316420 says:

    Fuck him!!! He’s a pedo rapist that belongs in prison??

  3. Turk_Longwell says:

    Thank you for that, Hannah.

    Everyone else:
    All I’m saying is that nothing was actually proven in a court of law.
    Per this article.
    Things were claimed
    He gave a bunch of money out.
    Aren’t we the folks who go by the facts.
    This article told us them.
    But it didn’t tell a guilty verdict.
    Only money to people.
    That’s why I dig it.

    Also.. minus attorney fees is like, what? 40%

  4. Turk_Longwell says:

    I’m trying to figure out the framing of this story.
    Ya know, test out the ole Timcast.com Newsroom.
    Reading the words over and over again.
    I like that I am confused.
    I also like that there’s common sense here.
    Common sense wins y’all.
    Most Americans are not Progressive Radicals.

  5. Another Hollywood Pedo….who is really surprised at this point!!!

  6. cutter says:

    I did not hit her, it’s not true. It’s bullshit, I did not hit her. I did naaaht.

    Oh Hi Mark!

  7. KDiddy says:

    I hadn’t been a huge fan of the guy, seemed kind of weird and needy.

  8. Thecollapseexperiment says:

    I thought for sure, with all the dick he sucked on camera, that franco is gay.

  9. SpartanSpear says:

    It’s like a pre-requisite to be a sexual predator to be in Hollywood.

    He should also be sued for when he looked at the waitress and said ‘so good’ in Spider Man 3 with that nasty ass creepy smile. That was creepy as hell