Three universities where James Franco taught classes have said there are no complaints on file against the actor, producer and director.
New York University and the University of Southern California officials, as well as a source from UCLA told TMZ that there were no complaints filed against Franco.
A total of five women have now accused him of sexual misconduct or abuse of power, including four student-actors he worked with at Studio 4 and Playhouse West.
Franco has maintained the allegations are inaccurate.
New York University and the University of Southern California officials, as well as a source from UCLA told TMZ that there were no complaints filed against Franco while he taught there, a time span ranging from 2011-2017
Franco taught at NYU in 2011 and 2012, at USC in 2013 and 2015 and UCLA from 2012 to 2017.
UCLA would not officially comment, but TMZ reported that a source who would be familiar with any filed complaints if they existed, also said there none filed against Franco.
It’s important to note that the lack of existing complaints on file does not mean misconduct did not occur. It is inconclusive.
None of the three universities immediately responded to phone messages left by the Daily Mail seeking to confirm that no complaints had been filed.
Through his attorney, Franco has denied allegations that emerged in more detail a Thursday exposé from the Los Angeles Times; Franco is seen here in Los Angeles at the Golden Globe Awards wearing a ‘Time’s Up’ pin
Through his attorney, Michael Plonsker, Franco has denied allegations that emerged in more detail a Thursday article from the Los Angeles Times.
Four of the accusers are former acting students of 39-year-old Franco, and claim the Oscar nominee pressured women both on set and in class to perform topless or even completely nude.
The fifth woman said Franco was a mentor to her.
The accusations include Franco’s alleged removal of plastic guards covering female actors’ genitalia during simulated sex scenes and his becoming ‘visibly angry’ when females would not appear nude or topless.
‘I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable,’ said Sarah Tither-Kaplan, one of Franco’s former acting students included in the piece by the Times.
Students from Studio 4 said there was a feeling that small parts would be made available only to those would would agree to appear semi-nude or nude.
‘[Franco] “would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts’ in his projects, Katie Ryan told the Times.
Studio 4 closed in the fall, before any of these allegations were brought to light.
Vince Jolivette, the co-owner of Rabbit Bandini which ran Studio 4, said in a statement provided by Franco’s attorney that ‘the school was always run professionally,’ that ‘instructors were excellent, [and] student feedback was positive.’
The statement also added that these complaints are ‘very inconsistent with the mission’ of the school, and are being investigated.
The allegations first started coming out on social media, after Franco wore a ‘Time’s Up’ pin at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards.
The ‘Time’s Up’ movement references an organization created by leading women in politics an entertainment to provide support and a legal defense fund for women across all industries who have experienced disparity in treatment, unequal pay and harassment at work.
The allegations first started coming out on social media, after Franco wore a ‘Time’s Up’ pin at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards
After Franco spoke at the Golden Globes, Ally Sheedy of The Breakfast Club fame tweeted asking why Franco was ‘allowed in’ to the awards show; She later deleted her tweets
After Franco spoke, Ally Sheedy of The Breakfast Club fame tweeted asking why Franco was ‘allowed in’ to the awards show.
She also wrote:
‘Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.’
But her tweets were quickly deleted.
Then other women came forward.
Franco responded to the claims that came across Twitter feeds in an interview with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, saying:
‘There were some things on Twitter… I haven’t read them. I’ve heard about them,’ Franco said.
‘First of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy. I directed her in a play off-Broadway. I had nothing but a great time with her — total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset.
‘The others, in my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. The things I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice, because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So, I don’t want to shut them down in any way. It’s, I think, a good thing, and I support it.’
Franco responded to the claims that came across Twitter feeds in an interview with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, saying the allegations were inaccurate but that it’s important to listen
Passages in Franco’s 2013 novel are raising eyebrows after he was hit with allegations
Colbert then asked Franco if he had any insight on how people should reconcile differing recollections of past experiences that they were both involved in.
‘The way I live my life, I can’t live if there’s restitution to be made, I will make it. So, if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to,’ he said.
‘As far as the bigger issues, you know, how we do it, I really don’t have the answers, and I think the point of this whole thing is that we listen. There were incredible people talking that night. They had a lot to say, and I’m here to listen and learn and change my perspective where it’s off. I’m completely willing, and I want to.’
In recent days, Franco’s writings about luring ‘young girls’ for sex in a 2013 book have resurfaced.
Franco’s novel Actors Anonymous is a work of fiction, but contains passages narrated by an actor named ‘James Franco’ that are raising eyebrows.
‘Acting teachers are f**ked up,’ Franco wrote in his book’s preface, and so presumably in his own voice.
‘They are unlike any other teachers because they deal with their students’ emotions and bodies.’
In one chapter narrated by the Franco character, he wrote: ‘Lots of actors like to screw the extras. It’s pretty easy.’
‘You can usually score with your acting partner after the first make-out scene,’ he adds, noting that the technique works even if the woman is in a relationship.
‘I had something going on with most of my female costars and worked up a routine so that I could see someone every night,’ another passage read.
Franco told Colbert on Tuesday: ‘The way I live my life, I can’t live if there’s restitution to be made, I will make it. So, if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to’
Franco is seen signing copies of his book Actors Anonymous in 2013 in Los Angeles. Passages from the book about seducing and sleeping with ‘young girls’ have resurfaced
Elsewhere in the book, the Franco character dishes on his strategies for luring ‘young girls’ from his fan base.
‘One of my favorite approaches was to ask the young girls that requested to take a photo with me to email me a copy of the photo; that way I can give them my info very quickly in front of a crowd of fans and later work out a way to see them,’ Franco wrote, as the character.
‘Usually this happens at an event, which means I am usually away from home, so I have girls all over the world.’
In the novel, the Franco character describes one such encounter with an ‘okay-looking’ girl in Toronto while promoting his film 127 Hours.
In recent days, Franco’s writings about luring ‘young girls’ for sex in a 2013 book have resurfaced; the book contains a character named ‘James Franco’ that picks up women
Riding High: Franco is seen wearing a ‘Time’s Up’ pin at the Golden Globes on Sunday, days before a storm of allegations hit the actor
Sarah Tither-Kaplan was one of four of Franco’s former acting students who came forward in a Thursday article to accuse Franco of sexual misconduct, abuse of power and harassment
‘The Toronto girl, Barbara, eventually came to New York to visit her grandmother,’ Franco wrote in the fictional work.
‘In the intervening months she had sent me plenty of photos of her body and especially her a** bent over in a G-string, so when she arrived at my Lower East Side apartment, I was ready and she was ready,’ the book read.
‘Not only did she allow me to do everything I wanted to her, she let me film it on my phone.’
The novel’s pickup strategy sounds similar to a real-life incident with a 17-year-old that Franco admitted to in 2014.
Lucy Clode, who was 17 at the time, had gone to see Franco on Broadway in Of Mice and Men, and posted a photo to Instagram of herself and the actor taken while he signed autographs that night.
Franco then reached out to Lucy and, after learning she was 17 which is the age of consent in New York, began to exchange a number of suggestive messages before asking her what hotel she was staying at in the city.
Franco’s persistence was later revealed when Clode posted the exchange on her account, forcing the actor to apologize for his pursuit of the teen.