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James Franco speaks about sexual misconduct allegations

Once an icon of American comedy, actor James Franco has since been cast aside by the industry due to allegations of sexual misconduct aimed against him in 2018. Accused by five different women, Franco settled the lawsuit with two of the accusers in February 2021, two former students at an acting school where the Hollywood star worked and encouraged his students to engage in explicit scenes on camera. 

The lawsuit against Franco claimed that he “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”. 

Speaking in a brand new interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Podcast, James Franco admitted to having slept with students at the school, stating: “Over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students, and that was wrong”.

Continuing, he clarified, “But like I said, it’s not why I started the school and I wasn’t the person that selected the people to be in the class. I was in a consensual thing with a student and I shouldn’t have been”. 

The statements come after years of silence on the matter from Franco and a considerable break from the movie industry. Discussing why he thought now was the best time to discuss the allegations, the actor added, “it did not seem like the right time to say anything” when the matters first arose in 2018. 

Discussing his struggles with substance abuse and sexual addiction, Franco outlined how he’s been trying to combat his psychological issues and explained, “there were people that were upset with me and I needed to listen,” as to his reasoning for not speaking out before.

The full interview with James Franco is due to be released on December 23rd 2021 on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Podcast.