James Franco has been forced to pay $2.2 million USD to settle several sexual misconduct lawsuits after two plaintiffs accused the actor of sexual harassment, exploitation and coercion. The lawsuit also involves Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis, who allegedly ran the Rabbit Bandini production company and Studio 4 film school for personal and financial benefit.
The plaintiffs are former students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal who detailed accounts of misconduct at the hands of Franco to the Los Angeles Times.
In a joint motion from June 24 and obtained by E! News, the Disaster Artist actor as well as Jolivette and Davis will pay a reported $894,000 USD to settle the women’s claims in addition to one third allotment for their attorney’s fees.
But that’s not all. The three defendants will reportedly pay $1.341 million to two separate class action funds for those who paid tuition for one or more Master Class courses at Studio 4 Film School as well as any course at Studio 4 Film School in Los Angeles or New York during the class action period.
Tither-Kaplan and Gaal accused Franco of “widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behaviour towards female students by sexualising their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.”
“I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” Tither-Kaplan said in the aforementioned interview for the LA Times.
At the time, Franco appeared on the The Late Show with Stephen Colbert just days later and denied the allegations.
“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,” Franco said. “If I have done something wrong, I will fix it — I have to.”
The news of Franco broke soon after it was announced that Bill Cosby’s sexual assault conviction was overturned. He was accused of drugging and molesting Andrea Constand in 2004. And it wasn’t the only case against him. The 83-year-old walked free from prison today after serving just two years behind bars.