The case dates back almost a year and a half. In October 2019, two former students of James Franco’s theater school, Studio 4, located in Los Angeles, filed a complaint accusing their former teacher of intimidation and sexual misconduct. According to the plaintiffs, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, James Franco “sought to create a network of young women subjected to sexually to him in the name of education.” During his lessons, the 42-year-old actor allegedly pressured several of his students to undress during their auditions. He also allegedly abused his power by asking his students to shoot “orgy-type” scenes, promising them roles they never saw the color. For his part, James Franco has always denied the charges against him.
James Franco charges dropped
At the time, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal had received the support of five other women who, as early as 2018 and in the heart of the #MeToo movement, had incriminated Dave Franco’s brother in an investigation by the Los Angeles Times. But this support has apparently not been sufficient. On February 11, James Franco would have reached an agreement with his former students, as revealed by the New York Times. According to the American daily, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal have agreed to drop the charges. While it seems obvious that financial compensation has been paid to the two young women, their lawyers have not given any details on the terms of the agreement.
Either way, the case doesn’t end there for the 127 Hour actor. Also according to the New York Times, the other plaintiffs of the class action lawsuit may renew their complaints at a later date. As a reminder, James Franco taught at the Studio 4 theater school between 2014 and 2017.
James Franco © GTRES