It’s been a while since we’ve heard anything really from James Franco, as he’s been laying low since sexual misconduct allegations arose in 2018. Since then, he’s appeared in a few films, as well as the HBO series, “The Deuce,” but much like Casey Affleck, Franco has stayed out of the public eye for the most part. That’s probably partially because he’s involved in a legal battle with accusers that claim he took advantage of them while teaching an acting course. But in a new court document, Franco is arguing that his accusers are just jumping on a “bandwagon” with their allegations.
Two of Franco’s former students, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal filed a lawsuit last year saying that the actor-turned-professor was teaching a “masterclass” about sex scenes. However, over the course of the class, Franco allegedly exploited young women, rewarding students that were willing to disrobe, and generally, pressured students to engage in sexual activity that was far outside what people felt was normal.
Franco and his legal team argue, in a court document (via Variety), that the case should be thrown out. The document claims that Tither-Kaplan decided “to jump on the bandwagon and insert herself into the media’s insatiable appetite to ruin the next celebrity.”
It continues by describing Franco as “an ardent believer in the righteousness of the #MeToo and Times Up movements,” and that the social media movements have taken down“reprehensible individuals.” However, in the case of Franco, the movements “have also ensnared an innocent man.”
“Franco is doing what is best for him: forcefully denying the scurrilous and false accusations but supporting his accusers’ right to their day in court,” the document states.
Recently, #MeToo has secured a major legal victory with the rape conviction of Harvey Weinstein. Obviously, the suit against Franco isn’t a criminal matter, but it’ll be interesting to see how the court handles the high-profile case.