Washington. American actor James Franco and his associates will pay USD 2.2 million to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit after two former film students accused them of “ sexual harassment, exploitation, and coercion”.
Sarah Tither – Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who attended Franco’s now-defunct Studio 4 acting school, sued him in Los Angeles in October 2019.
Franco’s lawyer had previously described the claims as “false and inflammatory”.
As per Variety, in February, the actor reached a tentative settlement over a 2019 class-action lawsuit, which accused him, as well as Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis, of fraudulently running the Rabbit Bandini production companies and Studio 4 film School for their personal and financial benefits.
Franco and other defendants will pay USD 894,000 to settle Tither- Kaplan and Gaal's sexual explosion claims, including a one-third allotment for their fees.
The class-action lawsuit – a legal claim made by more than one person against a defendant- also alleged he abused his position and dangled opportunities for roles in his films.
In the 2019 lawsuit, Tither-Kaplan and Gaal accused Franco of “widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects”.
Ms. Tither -Kaplan had previously come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor-director, shortly after he won a Golden Globe Award for his film The Disaster Artist in 2018.
Franco is particularly famous for his work with Seth Rogen, including films such as Sausage Party, The Interview, and This is the End. Franco has directed several films including The Disaster Artist, Sal, and Zeroville, which also starred Rogen.
Franco was nominated for best actor at the Oscars in 2011, for his role in 127 Hours, which was directed by Danny Boyle.