Actor James Franco has finally broken his silence about the sexual misconduct allegations levelled against him nearly four years ago. On SiriusXM’s ‘The Jess Cagle’ podcast, he addressed the allegations, confessing that he had slept with his students, reported The Hollywood Reporter.
For the unversed, in January 2018, five women accused Franco of inappropriate and sexually exploitative behaviour, while four of them were students at his acting school Studio 4, which was soon closed.
Two of the students filed a lawsuit in 2019 alleging that classes existed mainly to create a way for Franco and his associates to take advantage of young women. Talking about such allegations, Franco said, “Look, I’ll admit I did sleep with students. I didn’t sleep with anybody in that particular class. But, over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students and that was wrong.”
He added, “But like I said, it’s not why I started the school and I wasn’t the person that selected the people to be in the class. So it wasn’t a ‘master plan’ on my part. But yes, there were certain instances where, you know what, I was in a consensual thing with a student and I shouldn’t have been.” Franco also opened up about why he was silent for so long.
“In 2018, there were some complaints about me and an article about me. And at that moment I just thought, ‘I’m gonna be quiet. I’m gonna pause.’ [It] did not seem like the right time to say anything. There were people that were upset with me and I needed to listen,” he explained. He even addressed his history of drug abuse and sex addiction.
The actor said, “Once I stopped using alcohol to sort of fill that hole, it was like, ‘Oh success, attention — this is great. And so, in a weird way, I got addicted to validation. It’s such a powerful drug. got hooked on it for 20 more years, and the insidious part of that is that I stayed sober from alcohol all that time. I went to meetings all that time. I even tried to sponsor other people. And so in my head, it was like, ‘Oh, I’m sober. I’m living a spiritual life.’ Where on the side, I’m acting out now in all these other ways. And I couldn’t see it.” He stated that he was “completely blind to power dynamics or anything like that, but also completely blind to people’s feelings.”
The Oscar nominee opened his acting school, Playhouse West Studio 4, in 2014 before it closed in 2017.