Embattled Actor James Franco Admits He Slept With Students as He Opens Up About Sex Addiction

© AP Photo / Matt Sayles/Invision for Lindt ChocolateJames Franco is seen at the Golden Globes Official After Party sponsored by Lindt Chocolate on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, Calif
James Franco is seen at the Golden Globes Official After Party sponsored by Lindt Chocolate on Sunday, Jan. 7, 2018 in Beverly Hills, Calif - Sputnik International, 1920, 23.12.2021
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In 2018, five women accused the star of 127 hours and The Disaster Artist of inappropriate and sexually exploitative behaviour. A year later, two students of Franco’s now-defunct school accused him of exploiting his female students by subjecting them to sexually exploitative auditions. The actor has dismissed the accusations.
Embattled actor James Franco has spoken for the first time about sexual misconduct allegations made against him several years ago. Speaking on The Jess Cagle podcast, the 43-year-old admitted that he slept with some of students at his acting school, which the Oscar nominee said was "wrong".

"I suppose at the time, my thinking was if it’s consensual, okay. At the time I was not clearheaded," he said without specifying how many students he had slept with.

The Golden Globes laureate then went on to reveal that he has been struggling with sex addiction ever since he conquered his addiction to alcohol. The actor said his sex addiction had spiralled out of control when he found out that he “could never be faithful to anybody”.

"I wasn’t really like a one-night-stand guy. Like people that I, you know, got together with or dated, like I’d see them for a long time, years. It’s just that I couldn’t be present for any of them. And the behaviour spun out to a point where it was like I was hurting everybody", he said.

'I Didn’t Want to Hurt People'

These were the actor's first remarks on the subject since he was accused of sexual misconduct in 2018. Back then, the Los Angeles Times posted stories of five women, four of them students of Studio 4, the acting school Franco founded in 2014 in Los Angeles and New York City and which has now closed, who charged that Franco had been demonstrating sexually exploitative behaviour.
One individual claimed that the Golden Globe winner "would always make everybody think there were possible roles on offer if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts [during auditions]". One woman claimed Franco removed genital guards, which are used to cover private parts of actors when they are shooting a sex scene, while simulating sex with them during auditions.

The actor has categorically denied the accusations.

In 2019, two women filed a lawsuit against the actor and his business partners, claiming his acting school was an attempt to "create a pipeline of young women who would be subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education". The lawsuit stated that Franco and his partners made women audition for sex scenes and told them to sign away rights to those auditions, which were recorded on camera.
They also repeated claims made by women, who spoke with the Los Angeles Times. The lawsuit said that the actor and his partners “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behaviour towards female students by sexualising their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.
Franco again has categorically denied the accusations and his lawyer said that the actor will seek damages from the women and their attorneys "for filing this scurrilous publicity-seeking lawsuit”.

This year the sides settled the lawsuit with the star of James Dean paying the women $2.2 million.

Speaking on the issue, the actor regretted for being "completely blind to people’s feelings".

"I [was] completely blind to power dynamics or anything like that … I didn’t wanna hurt people", he told Jess Cagle.

The 43-year-old said he has “been doing a lot of work” since the allegations were made against him.

"I’ve really used my recovery background to kind of start examining this and, and changing who I was", he said.
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