A settlement was reached in a 2019 lawsuit alleging that James Franco intimidated his students in sexual situations at the drama school he founded.
According to a joint status report filed on February 11, two of Franco’s former students at his now-defunct Studio 4 school, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, have agreed to drop their individual claims. Your claims to sexual exploitation will also be dismissed without prejudice, so that they can be re-submitted. In addition, allegations of fraud raised in the lawsuit are only cleared to a limited extent. It is not immediately clear how much money was involved in the settlement.
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James Franco’s acting students claim sexual exploitation
According to their class action lawsuit, Franco allegedly forced his students to play explicit sex scenes on camera in an environment they referred to as the “orgy guy” during a master class he gave on sex scenes. Tither-Kaplan and Gaal also claimed that Franco led the students to believe that if they followed them, they would have roles in his films.
Franco’s lawyers responded to the allegations in a previous file, calling them “false and inflammatory, legally unfounded and a class action with the obvious aim of attracting as much publicity as possible to attention-hungry plaintiffs.”
The deal will be submitted for preliminary court approval by March 15.
Tither-Kaplan first claimed in early 2018 that he behaved sexually against Franco after winning a Golden Globe for his role in “The Disaster Artist”. Since the allegations came to light, Franco has stayed out of the spotlight despite having several film and television projects in the works.
The full agreement can be found here.
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