Three universities where James Franco taught classes have said there are no complaints on file against the actor, producer and director.
New York University and the University of Southern California officials, as well as a source from UCLA told TMZ that there were no complaints filed against Franco.
A total of five women have now accused him of sexual misconduct or abuse of power, including four student-actors he worked with at Studio 4 and Playhouse West.
Franco has maintained the allegations are inaccurate.
New York University and the University of Southern California officials, as well as a source from UCLA told TMZ that there were no complaints filed against Franco while he taught there, a time span ranging from 2011-2017
Franco taught at NYU in 2011 and 2012, at USC in 2013 and 2015 and UCLA from 2012 to 2017.
UCLA would not officially comment, but TMZ reported that a source who would be familiar with any filed complaints if they existed, also said there none filed against Franco.
It’s important to note that the lack of existing complaints on file does not mean misconduct did not occur. It is inconclusive.
None of the three universities immediately responded to phone messages left by the Daily Mail seeking to confirm that no complaints had been filed.
Through his attorney, Michael Plonsker, Franco has denied allegations that emerged in more detail a Thursday article from the Los Angeles Times.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan was one of four of Franco’s former acting students who came forward in a Thursday article to accuse Franco of sexual misconduct, abuse of power and harassment
Tither-Kaplan claims that Franco removed plastic genital guards that several actresses were wearing for a nude sex scene in his film The Long Home (Tither-Kaplan circled in red on set)
Four of the accusers are former acting students of 39-year-old Franco, and claim the Oscar nominee pressured women both on set and in class to perform topless or even completely nude.
The fifth woman said Franco was a mentor to her.
The accusations include Franco’s alleged removal of plastic guards covering female actors’ genitalia during simulated sex scenes and his becoming ‘visibly angry’ when females would not appear nude or topless.
‘I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable,’ said Sarah Tither-Kaplan, one of Franco’s former acting students included in the piece by the Times.
The allegations first started coming out on social media, after Franco wore a ‘Time’s Up’ pin at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards
After Franco spoke at the Golden Globes, Ally Sheedy of The Breakfast Club fame tweeted asking why Franco was ‘allowed in’ to the awards show; She later deleted her tweets
Support system: Kathy Griffin jumped in the fray on Thursday to show support for Ally Sheedy (above)
Disaster: Ally Sheedy went after James Franco on Twitter following his Best Actor win at the Golden Globes on Sunday (pair above in 2014 at the opening night party for The Long Shrift)
Students from Studio 4 said there was a feeling that small parts would be made available only to those would would agree to appear semi-nude or nude.
‘[Franco] “would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts’ in his projects, Katie Ryan told the Times.
Studio 4 closed in the fall, before any of these allegations were brought to light.
Vince Jolivette, the co-owner of Rabbit Bandini which ran Studio 4, said in a statement provided by Franco’s attorney that ‘the school was always run professionally,’ that ‘instructors were excellent, [and] student feedback was positive.’
The statement also added that these complaints are ‘very inconsistent with the mission’ of the school, and are being investigated.
The allegations first started coming out on social media, after Franco wore a ‘Time’s Up’ pin at Sunday’s Golden Globe Awards.
The ‘Time’s Up’ movement references an organization created by leading women in politics an entertainment to provide support and a legal defense fund for women across all industries who have experienced disparity in treatment, unequal pay and harassment at work.
Claims: Sarah Tither-Kaplan (left) claims a topless video of her made for Franco’s class at Studio 4 was uploaded without her prior knowledge or consent; Violet Paley (right) said Franco pressured her into performing oral sex on him while the two were in a car together, during the course of an otherwise consensual relationship
Franco responded to the claims that came across Twitter feeds in an interview with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, saying the allegations were inaccurate but that it’s important to listen
After Franco spoke, Ally Sheedy of The Breakfast Club fame tweeted asking why Franco was ‘allowed in’ to the awards show.
She also wrote:
‘Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business.’
But her tweets were quickly deleted.
Then other women came forward.
Allegation: Tither-Kaplan claimed on Sunday that she was forced to do ‘exploitative’ scenes with ‘full nudity’ in two of Franco’s films while being paid just $100 (tweets above)
Franco called and apologized to both Tither-Kaplan and Paley according to the two women
Franco responded to the claims that came across Twitter feeds in an interview with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday, saying:
‘There were some things on Twitter… I haven’t read them. I’ve heard about them,’ Franco said.
Passages in Franco’s 2013 novel are raising eyebrows after he was hit with allegations
‘First of all, I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy. I directed her in a play off-Broadway. I had nothing but a great time with her — total respect for her. I have no idea why she was upset.
‘The others, in my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done. The things I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice, because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So, I don’t want to shut them down in any way. It’s, I think, a good thing, and I support it.’
Colbert then asked Franco if he had any insight on how people should reconcile differing recollections of past experiences that they were both involved in.
‘The way I live my life, I can’t live if there’s restitution to be made, I will make it. So, if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to,’ he said.
‘As far as the bigger issues, you know, how we do it, I really don’t have the answers, and I think the point of this whole thing is that we listen. There were incredible people talking that night. They had a lot to say, and I’m here to listen and learn and change my perspective where it’s off. I’m completely willing, and I want to.’
In recent days, Franco’s writings about luring ‘young girls’ for sex in a 2013 book have resurfaced.
Franco’s novel Actors Anonymous is a work of fiction, but contains passages narrated by an actor named ‘James Franco’ that are raising eyebrows.
‘Acting teachers are f**ked up,’ Franco wrote in his book’s preface, and so presumably in his own voice.
‘They are unlike any other teachers because they deal with their students’ emotions and bodies.’
Franco told Colbert on Tuesday: ‘The way I live my life, I can’t live if there’s restitution to be made, I will make it. So, if I’ve done something wrong, I will fix it. I have to’
Franco is seen signing copies of his book Actors Anonymous in 2013 in Los Angeles. Passages from the book about seducing and sleeping with ‘young girls’ have resurfaced
In one chapter narrated by the Franco character, he wrote: ‘Lots of actors like to screw the extras. It’s pretty easy.’
‘You can usually score with your acting partner after the first make-out scene,’ he adds, noting that the technique works even if the woman is in a relationship.
‘I had something going on with most of my female costars and worked up a routine so that I could see someone every night,’ another passage read.
Elsewhere in the book, the Franco character dishes on his strategies for luring ‘young girls’ from his fan base.
‘One of my favorite approaches was to ask the young girls that requested to take a photo with me to email me a copy of the photo; that way I can give them my info very quickly in front of a crowd of fans and later work out a way to see them,’ Franco wrote, as the character.
‘Usually this happens at an event, which means I am usually away from home, so I have girls all over the world.’
In the novel, the Franco character describes one such encounter with an ‘okay-looking’ girl in Toronto while promoting his film 127 Hours.
‘The Toronto girl, Barbara, eventually came to New York to visit her grandmother,’ Franco wrote in the fictional work.
‘In the intervening months she had sent me plenty of photos of her body and especially her a** bent over in a G-string, so when she arrived at my Lower East Side apartment, I was ready and she was ready,’ the book read.
‘Not only did she allow me to do everything I wanted to her, she let me film it on my phone.’
Meeting: Lucy Clode (above) shared this video on Instagram with James in the background following a March 2014 performance
The novel’s pickup strategy sounds similar to a real-life incident with a 17-year-old that Franco admitted to in 2014.
Lucy Clode, who was 17 at the time, had gone to see Franco on Broadway in Of Mice and Men, and posted a photo to Instagram of herself and the actor taken while he signed autographs that night.
Franco then reached out to Lucy and, after learning she was 17 which is the age of consent in New York, began to exchange a number of suggestive messages before asking her what hotel she was staying at in the city.
Franco’s persistence was later revealed when Clode posted the exchange on her account, forcing the actor to apologize for his pursuit of the teen.
JAMES FRANCO SAYS HE IS NOT DENYING SEXUAL MISCONDUCT ALLEGATIONS TO HELP WOMEN
James Franco spoke about the allegations being amde against him on Late Night With Seth Meyers on Wednesday (above)
Seth Meyers: I’m very glad you’re here. I want to talk about The Disaster Artist, which I loved, and want to get to the Golden Globes, but one of the things that happened at the Golden Globes – and obviously, this happened in the last couple of days before we had you booked on the show and I’m glad you’re still here. You were wearing a time’s up button like a lot of guys at the show and some women during your time on stage said that was hypocritical, they went to Twitter and said that it was hypocritical based on their experiences that they have had with you. They made some allegations. I wonder if you have read those tweets, and if so, how you respond to them?
James Franco: Yes. I was sent a couple of the tweets, so yeah, I did read them. I haven’t responded. I think, well the ones I read were not accurate, but one of the things that I’ve learned is that this is a conversation that obviously needs to be had. There are people, women and others who have not been a part of this conversation and I truly believe and why I was wearing the pin is that they need to be a part of this conversation and so I support that.
Seth: Ally Sheedy also had a tweet. She has since took it down. I heard you mention last night on Stephen Colbert’s show that you had directed her in a play. You’ve had a good experience with her. Have you reached out to her as someone, and, are you not curious as to why she would do that if you had, from your perspective, a good relationship with her?
James: Yes, I had a great relationship with her. She took the tweet down, I don’t know. I really don’t
Seth: Not curious enough though to reach out to her as someone that you’ve had a good relationship with before and to try to understand why she would have done that?
James: I don’t know. I – it was so shocking. I don’t know. I just – I guess I’m just letting it be.
Seth: The last thing I’ll say, or ask about this I should say, this moment, you know, I think this is an exciting time because it’s allowing us all remember, especially as men, that there were other people in different perspectives for things that we experienced. Does this Times Up movement and this moment we’re having right now, does it make you look back at all and question any of your behavior in the past based on this new perspective we’re getting on how women have perceived things for so long?
James: I think what I really learned and being here and this week and that show that we were you know … I mean it was so powerful in there.
Seth: That we heard some amazing things from some amazing women.
James: Like I said, there are stories that need to get out. There are people that need to be heard. I have my own side of this story, but I believe in, you know, these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will, you know, hold back things that I could say just because I believe in it that much. And if I have to take a knock because I’m not going to, you know, try and, you know, actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.
Source: Late Night With Seth Meyers