James Franco breaks silence on sexual misconduct allegations

James Franco has broken his silence on the series of sexual misconduct allegations made against him in 2018 by five women.

The Spiderman actor has opened up about how he has used the past “four years” to “examine” his past behavior and “patterns” after stepping away from the spotlight.

The 43-year-old star explained that he chose to speak because he had done “a lot of work” on himself and didn’t want his brother Dave Franco or acting partner and friend Seth Rogen to keep “talking” for him.

His decision to give an interview to SiriusXM’s Jess Cagle Podcast came after Franco settled with two of his accusers for $ 2.2 million in the pending lawsuit earlier this summer.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal sued Franco in 2019 when they claimed they intimidated them into sexual exploitation situations when they were enrolled at his Studio 4 acting and film school, which closed in 2017.

James Franco broke his silence on allegations of sexual misconduct

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Franco said on the podcast that he had chosen to remain silent for so long because he knew he “needed to hear” all the women who accused him.

The Disaster Artist star also said he came to the conclusion that he has used sex in place of his other addictions since becoming sober.

Franco said to the presenter: “I [was] completely blind to the dynamics of power or something like that, but also completely blind to the feelings of the people “.

The actor later confirmed that he had sex with students at his acting school, but thought it was “cool” because it was “consensual” and the women he had relationships with were all “adults”.

Continuing in the interview, which debuts on Thursday 23 December, the actor reflected on his silence.

James Franco explained his reasons to podcast host Jess Cagle
James Franco explained his reasons to podcast host Jess Cagle

“In 2018 there were some complaints about me and an article about me and at that moment I thought I was going to shut up,” he said. “I will be, I will stop. It didn’t seem like the right time to say something.

“There were people who were angry with me and I needed to listen,” Franco continued, then citing writer Damon Young who wrote that when questions arise about your actions, the natural human instinct is to “stop” .

“You just want to get out of it and whatever you have to do apologize, you know, do it,” he continued. “But what it doesn’t do is allow you to do the work and see what was underneath.

“Like, whatever you did, even if it was a gaffe or you said something wrong or whatever, there’s probably an iceberg under that – of behavior, of patterns, of just being blind to yourself, that won’t be fixed. from one day to another .”

LOS ANGELES, CA - JANUARY 21: Actor James Franco attends the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards at the Shrine Auditorium on January 21, 2018 in Los Angeles, California.  27522_009 (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for Turner)
James Franco has stepped away from the spotlight in recent years

OK! reached out to a Franco representative for further comment.

The star added: “So I just did a lot of work. And I guess I’m pretty confident in saying like, four years, you know? “

While Franco spoke of “accountability” at the time of the initial allegations in 2018, he insisted that what was said about him was “not accurate”.

The comedy director also talked about his battle with sex addiction over the past 20 years, openly admitting that he cheated on “everyone” he was dating before starting a relationship with his current girlfriend Isabel Pakzad, who he began seeing in the November 2017.

Franco has long been convalescing from substance abuse and has also received help with his sex addiction since 2016.

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 05: Isabel Pakzad and James Franco attend a special screening of the latest season of "the devil" at the Metrograph on September 05, 2019 in New York City.  (Photo by Taylor Hill / WireImage)
James and Isabel have been dating since 2017

The allegations against Franco came in January 2018, when five women described sexual misconduct in the Los Angeles Times.

One of the women, Violet Paley, claimed that he once forced her to have oral sex in her car. The other four women were students of Studio 4.

They claimed he asked women to perform topless or completely naked during their classes and on set.

One woman said Franco removed the plastic protections from the actress’s vulva during a sex scene while simulating oral sex.

NEW YORK, NY - JANUARY 09: James Franco (L) and Dave Franco attend the National Board of Review Annual Awards Gala at Cipriani 42nd Street on January 9, 2018 in New York City.  (Photo by Kevin Mazur / Getty Images for the National Board of Review)
James Franco is the older brother of fellow actor Dave Franco

After reaching a deal with Tither-Kaplan and Gaal, who sued Franco, in July, Franco and his production company business partners Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis said through their lawyers that they “continue to deny the allegations. in the complaint “but” acknowledge that the Plaintiffs have raised important issues “.

This was written under a “public statement” section in the settlement agreement.

“All parties firmly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood,” the statement continued.

“Everyone agrees on the need to ensure that no one in the entertainment industry, regardless of gender, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation, experiences discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind.”

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