James Franco Addresses Sexual Misconduct Allegations in New Interview, His First in Nearly Four Years

"I've really used my recovery background to kind of start examining this"

BY Kaelen BellPublished Dec 22, 2021

Back in 2018, James Franco was accused by several women of sexual misconduct. That turned out to only be the tip of the iceberg, as the original accusations were followed by stories from former students and coworkers of Franco, all of whom accused the actor of sexual, physical and emotional misconduct.  

There was some professional fallout in the wake, with Charlyne Yi, Busy Phillips and Seth Rogen disavowing Franco. Rogen stated that he did not plan to continue working with Franco in the future. 

Franco has remained relatively silent throughout, settling a case brought forth by two former students of his acting school and continuing to work on projects. However, in a new interview with SiriusXM — his first in nearly four years — the actor addresses the allegations and lawsuits directly, claiming that he has "been doing a lot of work" on himself. 

"There were people that were upset with me and I needed to listen," Franco said, when asked to explain his silence about the accusations. "When something like this happens, like the natural human instinct is to just make it stop. You just want to get out in front of it and whatever you have to do — apologize, you know, get it done. But what that doesn't do is allow you to do the work to look at what was underneath."

He continued, saying:

There's probably an iceberg underneath that of behaviour, of patterning, of just being blind to yourself that isn't gonna just be solved overnight. So I've just been doing a lot of work. And I guess I'm pretty confident in saying like, four years, you know? And I was in recovery before for substance abuse. And there were some issues that I had to deal with that were also related to addiction. And so I've really used my recovery background to kind of start examining this and changing who I was.

Franco did actually attempt to "get out in front" of the allegations during a 2018 appearance on Late Show with Stephen Colbert, where he told Colbert that  "the things I heard are not accurate," adding, "I completely support people coming out because they didn't have a voice for so long."

Elsewhere in his interview with SiriusXM, Franco partially blames his behaviour on advice given to him by his sobriety sponsor that exacerbated his sex addiction, saying:

He's like, "Look, the cheating is dishonest. I don't think that's good for your sobriety, but if you're not dating someone and you wanna go and hook up, like whatever happens between two consenting adults is fine." Like that's what he said. The problem was I took that and I ran with it and used it as an excuse to just hook up all over the place. And it was like, well, we're being honest here. Right? And like you said, like I was completely blind to power dynamics or anything like that, but also completely blind to people's feelings.

At the interview's close, Franco also addresses Seth Rogen's claim that he no longer wants to work with Franco, saying:

I get it, he had to answer for me 'cause I was silent. He had to answer for me and I don't want that. And so that's one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today is. I don't want Seth or my brother or anyone to have to answer for me anymore.

You can watch clips from the interview below. 


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