James Franco has reached a settlement amid a serious sexual misconduct case. The actor has agreed to pay $2.2million (£1.6m) as a result of the class action lawsuit.
Allegations of sexual misconduct levelled against Franco arose again in 2018. This time, students of his short-lived New York acting school Studio 4 accused the actor of intimidating them into sexual situations. Franco has vehemently denied the allegations and continues to hold that stance.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who attended Franco’s now-defunct acting school, led the case and sued him in Los Angeles in October 2019. As part of the case, the students claimed that they were sexually objectified and intimidated and victims of fraud for paying for the acting school.
Despite Franco’s lawyers previously describing the allegations as “false and inflammatory”, the case has reached a monetary settlement. Ms Tither-Kaplan will receive $670,500, of which $223,500 will be being deducted for legal fees. Ms Gaal will receive $223,500, with $74,500 paid to lawyers.
Elsewhere, the remaining figure of $1.341m (£971,910) will be split evenly across other students that were involved with the case.
As a result of the settlement, the judge, Franco and the accusers will sign off on the document which will continue to state that Franco denies all charges.
“The parties and their counsel are pleased to have resolved portions of this dispute and pending lawsuit,” the settlement states.
“While defendants continue to deny the allegations in the complaint, they acknowledge that plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood.
“All agree on the need to make sure that no-one in the entertainment industry – regardless of sex, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation – faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind.”