The Los Angeles Times has published the accounts of five women alleging sexual misconduct or inappropriate behaviour at the hands of James Franco.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student at the film school Franco founded who appeared in several of his productions, claims that on the set of his still unreleased film The Long Home, Franco removed plastic guards covering women’s genitals in a nude orgy scene and continued to simulate the sex act with no protection.
An attorney for Franco told the times the allegation is “not accurate”.
She also claims an actress who refused to take her top off and dance around Franco in another scene was sent home.
“I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” she said.
Student actresses Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel allege that during the filming of a project at a strip club, Franco approached the actresses, who had been asked to wear masks and lingerie, and asked “So, who wants to take your shirt off?”
When no one volunteered he became “visibly angry” and stormed off.
Another student actress, Violet Paley, says shortly after she began a romantic relationship with Franco, he pressured her into performing oral sex on him in a car.
“I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out,” said Paley. “I got really nervous, and I said, ‘Can we do this later?’ He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it.”
She said if the situation happened now, post #MeToo and Time’s Up, she would yell and get out of the car, but at the time “the power dynamic was really off.”
Franco’s attorney has denied all allegations.
A dark cloud has been hanging over Franco since the Golden Globes, when during his acceptance speech for Best Actor in a Musical or Comedy for The Disaster Artist, several women tweeted about his alleged misconduct.
Appearing on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert a couple of nights later, he responded to the allegations, denying any intentional wrongdoing but saying he was willing to “listen”.
“The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice,” he said.
“If I have done something wrong, I will fix it — I have to,” said Franco.
“That’s how that works. I don’t know what else to do. The point is to listen. I am here to listen and learn and change perspective where it’s off. I’m completely willing and want to.”