Published Feb 22, 2021James Franco has formally reached a settlement with two former students of his Los Angeles acting school who accused the actor/director of engaging in sexually exploitative behaviour.
According to court documents, accusers Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal — two student who attended Franco's now defunct Studio 4 acting school — have dropped their claims.
The exact terms of the settlement are not known, but it was filed at the Superior Court of California on February 11. The settlement deal also applies to Franco's production company, Rabbit Bandini, and his two business partners, Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis — all of whom had been previously named in the lawsuit.
As previously reported, Tither-Kaplan and Gaal took legal action against Franco in 2019, claiming he and his partners "engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behaviour towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects."
Franco's team strongly disputed this, requesting in March 2020 that the courts throw out the suit. His attorneys stated the two women had "ensnared an innocent man" after allegedly hopping on the #MeToo "bandwagon."
The settlement deal will be submitted for preliminary court approval by March 15.