Saturday, 20 January, 2018

James Franco Accused Of Sexual Misconduct By Five Women

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Nicole Thomas | 11 January, 2018, 23:32

Five women have accused actor James Franco of inappropriate or exploitative behavior in a Los Angeles Times report published Thursday.

Former students spoke of an unprofessional culture at Franco's now-closed acting school Studio 4, where he taught a sex scenes class.

Apparently, while filming an orgy scene with the Ivy League educated star three years ago, James removed the protective plastic guards that covered the actresses' vaginas amid simulating oral sex on them.

One theme runs through almost every allegation against Franco in the Times: He abuses a position of power to put women in uncomfortable scenarios, in which denying his requests risked angering Franco or endangering the women's careers.

Two other students at Studio 4 - Hilary Dusome, 33, and Natalie Chmiel, 33 - told The Times about unpleasant experiences on set with Franco, with both saying he became visibly furious when actresses did not agree to take their shirts off.

Actress Violet Paley said on Twitter that Franco pushed her head toward his groin in a vehicle, and filmmaker Sarah Tither-Kaplan claimed a $100-a-day contract she signed to perform nudity in a film of Franco's was exploitive.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a third student actress who appeared in a Franco film, claims she saw another actress sent home after refusing to appear topless.

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During the interview, Franco also said: "I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they haven't had a voice for so long".

This isn't the first time Franco has dealt with allegations of inappropriate behavior. I said, 'Do you have a boyfriend?' And her response was, 'Not when you're around.' So that, to me, sounds like, okay, she's interested.

She says he later apologized for having a sexual relationship with her while knowing that she was struggling with substance abuse, and on Twitter she characterized this apology as "overdue, annoyed, convenient". Franco, who won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Musical and Comedy for The Disaster Artist, is considered a contender for other acting nods this awards season, and there's already speculation about whether nominating bodies such as the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences will take into account the claims against him. "I think that it's a good thing and I support it".

Unsurprisingly, Franco's lawyer Michael Plonsker denied each of the troubling allegations and advised The Times to refer to James' denial on The Late Show.

In 2014, he began an exchange on Instagram with a 17-year-old British girl he'd met in NY.

"They would tell us that smaller parts in their projects were being held exclusively for students - often they were opportunities for extra work or parts that required nudity".

"If I have to take a knock because I am not going to try and actively refute things then I will because I believe in it that much", Franco added. "I used bad judgement and I learned my lesson". A common theme among the accusers' stories was the belief that Franco would help their careers if they agreed to his wishes.

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