James Franco to Pay $2.2 Million in Sexual Misconduct Settlement

BY Allie GregoryPublished Jul 1, 2021

After settling with two former students of his California-based Studio 4 acting school back in February, the terms reached in the closing of James Franco's sexual exploitation lawsuit have now been revealed.

The filmmaker and his co-defendants, including Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis, will pay $2.2 million USD in the settlement, and are committed to "non-economic" terms that have not been made public, as part of the agreement.

The legal battle, which has been ongoing since 2019, saw Franco accused of "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."

Now, the two sides of the case have released a joint statement about the enduring issues with sexual abuse and sexual oppression in Hollywood.

"While Defendants continue to deny the allegations in the Complaint, they acknowledge that Plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood," the statement said. "All agree on the need to make sure that no one in the entertainment industry — regardless of sex, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation — faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind."

Since the details of the accusations became widespread, Franco's collaborator Seth Rogen pledged to never work with him again, while Franco's Freaks and Geeks co-star, Busy Philipps, echoed those plans in an interview about Franco's alleged abuse of her.

Meanwhile, Charlyne Yi detailed her experience in making The Disaster Artist, claiming that she was bribed with a bigger role upon trying to leave the production after learning of the allegations lodged against Franco.

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