Class Action Lawsuit Says James Franco Intimidated And Sexually Exploited Students
Two former students of James Franco’s now-defunct school, Studio 4, have filed a class action lawsuit accusing the actor and his partners, Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis, from his production-company Rabbit Bandini, of intimidating his students to sexually exploit and abuse them.
The actor and his associates were said to have “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.”
The plaintiffs of the lawsuit were two former students of Studio 4, the acting school that Franco founded.
The abuses were said to have happened from 2014 until the school closed in 2017.
According to Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, the actresses and ex-students who filed the complaint, the women who suffered from Franco’s abuse were allegedly forced to pay for the exploitation to occur.
This came in the form of a ‘masterclass’ that cost the women $750 each and focused on sex scenes that were allegedly used to exploit the aspiring actresses.
The female students were said to audition partially or fully nude, and they were told that their employment opportunities increased when they agreed to do sex scenes, nudity, or overt sexual acts.
These employment opportunities allegedly included a role in one of Franco’s films or projects.
The women signed over the rights to their graphic nude and sex scene auditions and recording as James Franco allegedly wanted to review the auditions and scenes personally.
The women were pushed to perform increasingly explicit sex scenes in an ‘orgy type setting’ and filmed on camera that was beyond what Hollywood would approve.
Gaal was said to have been left out of the masterclass for having questioned its exploitative nature, while Tither-Kaplan realized that she was cast in Rabbit Bandini films.
Looking into why this is so, the plaintiffs soon discovered that as a direct result of her willingness to accept such behavior and practice without complaint, she got cast in the films that Franco’s production company managed.
Get to know more about the case under Tither-Kaplan et al. v. Franco et al. Case No. 19STCV35156, S.C. CA.
Details On The James Franco Sexual Exploitation And Misconduct Settlement
James Franco’s lawyers previously described the allegations as “false and inflammatory” and leveled against the actor “with the obvious goal of grabbing as much publicity as possible for attention-hungry Plaintiffs.”
During an interview on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert, Franco called the allegations inaccurate and untrue but has said that “If I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to.”
A tentative class action settlement was reached to settle the class action lawsuit that was filed against the defendant.
The plaintiffs have agreed to drop their individual claims under the settlement agreement.
The sexual allegations by the other plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit will also be dismissed without prejudice.
This means that technically it could still be re-filed. Fraud allegations will also be “subjected to limited release.”
Additionally, plaintiffs also sought a court order that will compel Franco to destroy the film or video recordings of the sex scenes that were taped as part of the school’s film.
The settlement amount is yet unknown. The joint status report, however, notes that the parties are expected to file for preliminary court approval by March 15.
Editor’s Note on James Franco Sexual Exploitation Class Action Settlement:
This piece is written about the recent James Franco Sexual Exploitation Class Action Settlement.
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