James Franco sued for sexual harassment by former acting students

Two women allege that Franco’s acting school was a breeding ground for misconduct.

October 03, 2019
James Franco sued for sexual harassment by former acting students Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for National Board of Review

A new lawsuit filed by students of James Franco’s acting school alleges that Franco, his business partners and associates sexually harassed them and other students. Per the New York Times, the lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, alleges that through his acting school Studio 4, Franco and his associates “sexualize[d] their power and fame by dangling the opportunity to aspiring actors of employment in film and television in exchange for explicit nudity [and] sex.”

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In addition to Studio 4's $300-per-month tuition, students had the option of taking a $750 masterclass in sex scene acting; the lawsuit claims that students were required to audition for the class on tape, and were asked to sign away rights to any footage. The suit also claims that “young and inexperienced females […] were routinely pressured to engage in simulated sex acts that went far beyond the standards in the industry.”

Franco has not yet responded to the lawsuit publicly. In 2018, he was accused of sexual misconduct by five women; he refuted the claims.

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James Franco sued for sexual harassment by former acting students