James Franco Agrees To Settle Class-Action Sexual Misconduct Suit For $2.2 Million : NPR

James Franco in New York in 2017. Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for IFP hide caption

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Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for IFP

James Franco 2017 in New York.

Dimitrios Kambouris / Getty Images for IFP

Actor James Franco and two other men have agreed to settle a class action lawsuit led by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, former students of an acting school owned by Franco and one of the other men. Tither-Kaplan and Gaal, who filed their lawsuit in October 2020, alleged that they were sexually exploited and victims of fraud in the now-closed school called Studio 4.

According to the settlement agreement announced on Wednesday, Franco, Jay Davis and Vince Jolivette, along with production company Rabbit Bandini Films (owned by Franco and Jolivette, with Davis as general manager) and the Shuttered School (owned by Franco and Jolivette), will have 2,235 Withdraw $ 1,000. The terms of the deal, which has yet to be approved by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge, were first released by The Hollywood Reporter on Wednesday. Franco has repeatedly denied the women’s allegations.

James Franco sued by former college students for alleged sexual exploitation and fraud

Tither-Kaplan and Gaal spoke to NPR when they filed their complaint. They said they were promised that as paying students they would be given opportunities to audition for Franco and Rabbit Bandini.

Tither-Kaplan said she auditioned and paid extra money for a class called sex scenes that Franco teaches. She said she assumed the course would teach her how to negotiate sex scenes professionally. Instead, she told NPR, “I did what they apparently wanted to do in this class and that was undress and do sex scenes and not complain and move the envelope.” Gaal said that most of the auditions on offer ended up with nudity requirements.

James Franco Denies Sexual Misconduct Claims, Says They Are

Back in February, Tither-Kaplan and Gaal agreed to drop their individual complaints. According to The Hollywood Reporter, the settlement includes a statement that reads in part: “While the defendants continue to deny the charges in the lawsuit, they acknowledge that the plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties firmly believe that now is a critical time to focus on tackling the abuse of women in Hollywood All agree that no one in the entertainment industry – regardless of race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, Gender or sexual orientation – Discrimination, harassment, or prejudice is nice. “

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