James Franco’s accusers of sexual misconduct were criticized by lawyers representing them, who said that Franco showed no remorse for his actions and minimized the impact of the incident.

Franco, 43 years old, said in the podcast that he slept at his acting school with students, and also cheated with everyone he met during a 20-year struggle with’sex addiction.

Since being accused of sexual misconduct in January 2018, he spoke for the first times about the accusations. He was confronted by four former students and one woman who claimed he was their mentor.

Two of the women, Toni Gaal and Sarah TitherKaplan filed a suit against Franco in October 2020.

It was revealed that $2.2million had been settled in June. 

Lawyers for the accusers were angered by Franco’s interview for The Jess Cagle Podcast.

‘In addition to being blind about power dynamics, Franco is completely insensitive to, and still apparently does not care about, the immense pain and suffering he put his victims through with this sham of an acting school,’ said a spokesman for two law firms, Valli Kane & Vagnini and Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai.

Confession: James Franco has revealed how he slept with students at his acting school and felt 'blind to power dynamics' because they were 'consenting adults'

James Franco confesses to having slept with his students in acting school. He felt blinded by power dynamics because they were consenting adults and was unable to control them.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan (pictured above) was one of actresses who have come forward to publicly call Franco out for alleged sexually inappropriate and exploitative behavior

The other student named in the lawsuit was Toni Gaal

Toni Gaal and Sarah Tither-Kaplan sued Franco for sexual misconduct. They received $2.2million in settlement

The spokesman told TMZ: ‘It is unbelievable that even after agreeing to a settlement he continues to downplay the survivors’ experiences and ignore their pain, despite acknowledging he had no business starting such a school in the first place.’ 

Tither-Kaplan tweets: “Please follow @hiresurvivors.

“Apologies will not be accepted unless active measures are taken to reduce harm and are directed at survivors in particular. 

‘General statements of “sorry” or “I was wrong” or “I love women” etc. You do not have to help the person who has been hurt.

Placing abusers, while exclusion survivors can cause even greater harm. Blacklisting survivors is still an issue. 

Franco said he thought sleeping with students was ‘cool’ because it was ‘consensual.’

He said he was “completely blind” to power dynamics but was also blind to other people’s emotions. 

Franco claimed that he had slept with students and it was wrong.

Before meeting Isabel Pakzad, a 28-year old actress who he is currently dating from November 2017, he also said he couldn’t be faithful to anyone.

Actress Charlyne Yi who accused Franco of being a ‘sexual predator’ earlier this year reposted tweets criticizing the actor on her Instagram feed.

One stated, “Took four years.” [for a response to the allegations]Yet, it still feels lacking in performance. 

“He didn’t realize that teachers sharing their bedrooms with students violated a power imbalance. Yikes.’ 

Actress Charlyne Yi who accused Franco of being a 'sexual predator' earlier this year reposted tweets criticizing the actor on her Instagram feed

A tweet reposted by Charlyne Yi

Charlyne Yang, actress and critic of Franco’s sexual predatory nature earlier this year, reposted her tweets on her Instagram account.

Yi has accused James Franco of being a 'sexual predator'. She is seen at a premiere for a different movie in 2019

Yi accuses James Franco of being sexual predator. The actress is seen here at the 2019 premiere for another movie. 

Franco attributed his inappropriate behaviour and infidelity to a sex addiction that he suffered since he was a teenager. 

“It’s so powerful,’ he said. I was hooked for another 20 years. It is odd that I kept sober throughout all of this.

“And I was always going to meetings. Even tried sponsoring other people. It was as if I thought, “Oh, my sobriety.” It’s a spiritual lifestyle. But I can’t see the other side of it.  

Franco stated that he had been recovering from his sex addiction since 2016, and that he’d ‘been doing lots of work’ following the accusations against him. He also said that he’s ‘changed who I am’.

He stated, “I did not want to hurt anyone.”

Franco said that he did not sleep with his students in the acting school, but Franco thought it was cool because they all were adults and it was consensual. 

He confessed that he did not think about power dynamics in his pursuit of people he knew or who had attended his acting school. 

‘I [was]Completely blind to power dynamics and other similar phenomena, yet completely unaffected by people’s emotions. He stated that he didn’t intend to cause any harm.

He admitted that he slept with students. “Over the course my teaching, I did have a few sleepovers with students. It was not right. 

But, I have to say, this is not why I created the school. It wasn’t me who chose the students to join the class. It wasn’t my master plan, but there were instances when I did agree with students.

“I think at that time, my thought was, If it’s consensual OK, okay. I spoke to other people and other teachers. [But]At that time, my thinking was not clear. It all comes down to me: If it is agreed upon, then it’s okay. He stated that we are all adults.

Franco shared his struggles to be faithful with anyone, and how he cheated on all of the women he had dated in the past. 

He declared:  “I was a woman who had many girlfriends. I couldn’t be loyal to anyone. Isabel was the first to discover that I had cheated on her.

Franco said that his struggle for 20 years with sex dependence was the primary reason for his rampant sexual behavior. This is an issue Franco has successfully been fighting for five year. 

“I have been in rehabilitation before for substance abuse. I also had to face other problems that were related to my addiction.

Franco said, “So I’ve used my recovery history to start looking at it and changing who am I.”  

'Wrong': Speaking on the SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Podcast about his experience, James said that while teaching, he 'did sleep with students, and that was wrong'

‘Wrong’: Speaking on the SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Podcast about his experience, James said that while teaching, he ‘did sleep with students, and that was wrong’ 

Franco’s teenage years were filled with alcohol addiction and sobriety. [he]He was 17 years old, but eventually his addictions would flood other areas of his life.

“Once alcohol was out of my reach, I found it hard to drink. Then, everything became great. It was validation, success or any other kind of validation that I became addicted to. 

“As I tried to climb that mountain and get the success, the attention of women became an important source of validation. You can see that the problem with this is there is never enough.

He said, “I am just trying fill that hole and it never gets stuffed.”  

He said that sex was a powerful drug and that he got hooked for twenty more years.

Franco said, “And the most insidious thing about that is that it was that I kept sober of alcohol throughout that period.” Also, I was a regular attendee at meetings. Even tried sponsoring other people.

“And so, in my mind, it was like I thought, “Oh, sober.” “I live a spiritual existence. But I am acting now in many other ways. It was all I could see. 

He recalled his sponsor chastising him for cheating, but telling him that if he’s single, there’s nothing wrong with sleeping around — which Franco said he ‘ran’ with.

‘[My sponsor was]You can say, “Look, cheating makes you dishonest.” Franco stated that while I do not believe this is good for sobriety it’s fine if someone you aren’t dating wants to go out and hook up.

The problem was that I just took it and ran with it, using it as an excuse to hook up all over town. We’re just being real here. Right?’ He said.

Though he’s since made the effort to tackle his demons, the Spider-Man star recalled often feeling detached from people while addicted to sex and how that detachment caused a mountain of hurt.

Committed: James has been dating Isabel since November 2017; Isabel and James pictured in 2019

James is committed to Isabel; Isabel and James were pictured together in 2019.

People I dated or got to know, I would see for years, even decades. The problem is that I was unable to be there for them all. The behavior escalated to the point that it seemed like everyone was being hurt.    

While also being candid about his struggles with addiction, Franco spent a large portion of his podcast appearance speaking on the sexual misconduct accusations made against him in 2018 — allegations that led him to settle with two accusers for $2.2 million this summer.

According to him, he is a “serious” person. They have been helping him to ‘examine’ his past behaviour and then ‘changing my identity’ ever since they came forward with their stories.

Freaks and Geeks are a star He was silent throughout the entire time, knowing he would need to listen to and analyze his ‘behaviors and patterns’.

“I have just done a lot work. “I guess that’s four years. I think I can say it confidently. He said. 

In January of 2018, five women told the Los Angeles Times that Franco had been sexually inappropriate or exploitative with them. One woman described how Franco took plastic protectors out of the vulvas of actresses during a scene that involved oral sex.

Two of the women, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, sued Franco in 2019, claimed that he tried to ‘create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education’ while they attended his Studio 4 acting school. 

Being honest: He confirmed that he did sleep with students at his acting school, but thought it was 'cool' because it was 'consensual' and they were all adults'

Truthful: He said he was honest and admitted to sleeping with actors at the acting school. But he considered it cool, as it was “consensual” and all of them were adult.

Franco also admitted that it was 'hurtful' when his longtime collaborator and costar Seth Rogen said that he had no plans to work with him in the future

Franco admitted it was also a ‘hurtful’ moment when Seth Rogen, Franco’s long-time colleague and costar, said that he didn’t plan to continue working with him in future.

James Franco has had many dates and girlfriends. 

MARLA SOKOLOFF (1999 – 2004) 

Franco and Marla Sokoloff were co-stars in the movie Whatever It Takes. They met during this time from 1999 to 2004.

In an interview with Howard Stern, Spider Man’s star said that he had once filmed a tape of Sokoloff having sex.

According to him, he said that he was speaking with his girlfriend, who is an actress. Now she’s married… She’s married now. Marla Sokoloff, an actress who was on The Practice for four years, was my girlfriend. She was the secretary. They made a film together. It was a terrible film called Whatever It Takes.

Franco dated co-star Marla Sokoloff from 1999 to 2004

Franco and Marla Sokoloff were co-stars from 1999 through 2004

AHNA O’REILLY, 2006 – 2011, 

James Franco was with Ahna O’Reilly from 2006 until 2011.

He was too busy studying on the East Coast, while he was studying at Yale University for his PhD in English.

O’Reilly claimed that she felt tired of being left alone in Los Angeles as he was studying.

Franco stated to Playboy magazine that Franco was a fan at the time. [relationship]It lasted for about four to five years.

“We had been together for a while in LA, then we moved to New York to start school.

“Then, I signed up to attend Yale’s additional school. She was satisfied with that decision.

Franco and O'Reilly at the premier of Pineapple Express in July 2008

Franco and O’Reilly during the premiere of Pineapple Express, July 2008.


Franco and British model AgynessDeyn were later linked in 2011.

Franco took Deyn’s photo for Elle July 2011, an Elle Rebel Without a Cause spread.  

He was linked with British model Agyness Deyn (pictured in New York in 2019) in 2011

His relationship with British model Agyness Delyn, pictured in New York 2019 (pictured) was established in 2011.


One year later, reports surfaced that he was reportedly seeing Lovelace star Amanda Seyfried.

Franco saw him trying to quietly leave her house, but sources told Franco that he was not really serious.

James Franco and Amanda Seyfried starred in Lovelace together (pictured on the red carpet in Berlin in 2013)

Lovelace was a film starring James Franco and Amanda Seyfried (pictured in Berlin, 2013).


He was linked to Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones actress. They were even reported to have been engaged in 2013.

They were only seen at two engagements.

Clarke laughed at rumours that she and Clarke had met on the red-carpet, claiming they only had two brief encounters.

She replied, “He’s beautiful.”

“But I think there’s only few women that can make an engagement after two meetings. I don’t believe I’m one.

In 2013, he was linked with Game of Thrones actress Emilia Clarke (pictured in LA in January 2018)

He was linked to Emilia Clarke, Game of Thrones actress (photo taken in LA January 2018).


Franco was reported to be in a relationship with Erin Johnson in 2014.

Johnson posted a cozy photo of Johnson and another pal on Instagram in January 2012.

‘So yeah… #jamesfranco #interiorleatherbar,’ Erin wrote in the caption with a nod to the actor’s 2013 docudrama that he co-directed.

Erin also raved about the star after she posted another picture of Spring Breakers’ hunk on Instagram the same night. 

The two of them were photographed together at LAX airport in August. 

Franco and Johnson first met in January of that year during what looked like an opportune night, with Johnson sharing a cosy Instagram of the two and another pal

Franco and Johnson were first introduced in January 2012. Johnson posted a cozy photo of them with another pal.

LANA DEL RY (2014)

Rumours circulated that he was also dating Lana del Rey, as the couple shared images on Instagram.

Franco, however, later claimed that they weren’t romantically involved. He said it was just a platonic relationship.

“No, she is a friend of mine… We are friends. No. No.

“I’ll explain why. It might be boring. It’s strange how creative people work. Sometimes, my love for a person’s art and their personality in it is so strong that I find myself adoring their work.

“But, outside of that it’s like our dynamic is just we’re kind of friends, and we get along so well. However, all of this sexual attraction can only be used for the benefit of the individual and their work. We meet up at Coney Island to have fun. Her music would be my sex.

Rumours swirled about Franco and singer Lana del Rey in 2014

There were rumors about Franco, Lana del Rey and other singers in 2014.


Franco may also have been rumored to be in an intimate relationship with Johnny Depp’s ex-wife Amber Heard.

Their relationship was the focus of intense scrutiny in last year’s sensational Depp & Heard libel case in London.

At the trial, CCTV footage showed Franco and Heard taking a lift to Depp’s apartment.

Depp stated that this had made him feel ‘jealous’, and that it was surprising to see them together as Heard once called Franco ‘creepy’ and ‘rapey’.

Depp said to the court, “It propelled me to become jealous due Ms Heard having previously shared with me her experiences working with Mr Franco for a film called Pineapple Express. So it shock me that she suddenly seemed so friendly and happy about him.” 

Franco is pictured at The Adderall Diaries premiere in Hollywood in 2016 with Heard

Franco is pictured at The Adderall Diaries premiere in Hollywood in 2016 with Heard


Franco and Isabel Pakzad (28-years-old) began to date in November 2017.

Variety was told by him about their month-long relationship. He admitted that he worked hard to be more committed to her than to his previous lover.  

Franco stated, “There was one occasion, that old girlfriend visited me in New York.” Franco explained that he had been to New York for school. She had been scratched in her eye by my cat. There was so much I needed to accomplish the day before, that I did not take my cat to the hospital. I let my assistant pick her up. I was so haunted by that moment. I was so haunted by that moment. 

Franco has remained loyal to Pakzad despite allegations of sexual misconduct.  

On Tuesday, he told The Jess Cagle Podcast that Pakzad was his only girl.

He declared:  “I had girls. I couldn’t be loyal to anyone. Isabel was the first to discover that I had cheated on her.  

Pazkad and Franco are pictured in 2019

Franco and Pazkad are shown in 2019,

Franco briefly spoke out about taking responsibility at the beginning of the allegations but maintained that he was innocent.

In April, actress Charlyne Yi claimed Franco was a sexual predator and that she was being bribed to leave The Disaster Artist because of the claims.  

Yi believed that the 35-year old had tried to “break legal contracts” but instead, she was promised a larger role by the directors.

‘I cried and told them that that was the exact opposite of what I wanted, that I didn’t feel safe working with a f*****g sexual predator,’ Yi wrote on Instagram.

‘They minimized and said Franco being a predator was so last year and that he changed… when I literally heard of him abusing new women that week.’

Franco made fewer public appearances after the allegations were first reported. He then decided to interview The Jess Cagle podcast. 

Cagle asked him how he decided to ‘pause’ after learning of the allegations.  

He said, “In 2018, there were some complaints against me and an article on me. At that moment, I thought I was gonna be quiet.” 

‘I’m gonna be, I’m gonna pause. 

“It didn’t seem the right moment to say anything. 

“There were people who were angry with me, and I had to listen.

Damon Young was a writer who talked about how, when such an event occurs, our natural instinct is to stop it. 

He said, “You’re just trying to be there in the front and do whatever it takes, but get it done,” 

“But, what it doesn’t allow is for you to do your work and see what’s underneath. 

‘Like, whatever you did, even if it was a gaff or you said something wrong or whatever, there’s probably an iceberg underneath that — of behavior, of patterning, of just being blind to yourself, that isn’t gonna just be solved overnight. 

“So I have just been doing a lot more work. 

“I guess I feel pretty confident saying that it will take me like four years to say this,” he said. He said.  

In the new interview, Franco also admitted that it was ‘hurtful’ when his longtime collaborator and costar Seth Rogen said that he had no plans to work with him in the future.

Initially, when the allegations came out in 2018, Rogen told Vulture that he would continue to work with Franco.

However, in May, he changed his position and stated to the Sunday Times of Britain that he did not.

He stated, “I look back at that interview in 2018, where I said that I would work with James again, but the truth is, I haven’t and I don’t plan to.” 

Rogen said to The Times, “What I can tell you is that I hate harassment and abuse. I wouldn’t cover the actions or place someone else in that situation.  

Speaking on the podcast this week, Franco said he ‘absolutely loves’ Rogen, whom he worked with for 20 years — but ‘what he said is true, you know, we aren’t working together right now and we don’t have any plans to work together.’ 

He continued, “Of course, it was hurtful in context but I get that, you understand, he had to explain for me because I was silent,” he said. 

“He needed to answer for my and I didn’t want it.” 

“And that’s why it was so important for me to speak to you today, is because I didn’t want Seth, my brother, or anybody else to be responsible.” 

Franco was charged with misconduct after five women reported to the Los Angeles Times that Franco had acted inappropriately in January 2018. 

Violet Paley claimed Violet was in an agreement with the actor. However, Violet also said that the actor once made her perform oral sex as they sat together in their car.

Franco, who had previously taught Studio 4 to four other women as an acting class, claimed that he requested the women on sets and in classes to be topless and even nude.

Tither-Kaplan was one of the students who claimed she had taken Franco’s Sex Scenes masterclass while in Studio 4. 

One short video of her appeared completely topless for the class. 

She claimed that the video was uploaded to Vimeo by her unintentional.

Tither-Kaplan claims that a still taken from the video was found on at least one adult site.

You can now see my naked body if you google me. 

‘Before I’ve ever been on TV or before I’ve ever had any real credits or before any of this — of course I regret that. She said, “I don’t want this.”

But landing a role in Franco’s film The Long Home was a huge break for her — that proved uncomfortable.

Tither-Kaplan was on set when she was asked by Tither-Kaplan if she’d be open to appearing in a nude scene. She said she did so because it would have been a major break for her career.

The scene featured Tither-Kaplan and several other women. They wore only a piece known as a Genital Guard.

Franco claimed that he took the guard off when he was ready to perform oral sex with the actresses. He continued the scene without any barrier between his mouth, the vaginas or the throats of the women. 

Tither-Kaplan was impressed by her willingness to participate in the nude organization shoot and asked Tither-Kaplan to return to film another scene. 

It was an unscripted part that saw her be covered up while dancing in a circle, wearing an animal skull, and being topless.

According to Tither Kaplan, one of the actors declined to be topless for the scene. Franco did not ask her back at the set. 

Franco was the one she spoke of.

An actress who appeared alongside her in those two scenes confirmed Tither-Kaplan’s account, while Franco’s lawyer said: ‘The allegations about the protective guards are not accurate.’

Cynthia Huffman who was the casting director for the movie, commented also on these claims, saying she had ‘personally checked’ all actresses during filming.

Huffman said that James is about “giving up” and giving opportunities to young actors, actresses, and filmmakers. 

“It was horrible for anyone to be made uncomfortable, but we did everything to ensure that all of the actors in the nude scenes were safe and comfortable.”

Meanwhile, Paley said that Franco was a mentor who was helping her on a script she was working on back in 2016, which eventually led to a relationship between the two.

Franco allegedly forced her to perform sex acts at the beginning of their relationship.

Paley stated, “I was talking with him, and suddenly his penis came out.” 

“I felt really anxious and asked for help. 

“He kind of nudged my head down. I don’t think he hates me. So I did it.”

She claimed that she could only stop when she saw people coming towards the car. 

Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel said they became disenfranchised with Franco and his acting classes back in 2012 when they were selected to appear in what they were led to believe was a short art film.

Franco approached them mid-way through their shoot at a strip bar and asked if they were willing to be topless. 

He reportedly stormed out of the group after none of the women offered to volunteer. 

“I felt selected for a job based on hard work and merit. I later realized this was because I am a nice person. [breasts]Dusome said that Dusome was quite clear about this. 

“I think that he did not start teaching with bad intentions. But he ended up going down a dangerous path and causing a lot to be hurt.

Chmiel also said the same, noting that he took advantage our desire to be part of something greater. 

“We were all up-and coming actors, who were so hopeful.

Franco’s lawyer denied the allegations again. 

Franco spoke later to Seth Meyers on television, saying: “There are stories needing to be out.” 

“There are many people who need to hear your voice.

“I am a person who has my story. But I do believe in these underrepresented people getting their stories out. 

“And I may have to accept a knock since I don’t intend to. But I will try to actively discredit things. Because I believe it so much.

Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal went on to sue Franco, as well as his partners in the school, Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis. 

They came to an agreement in July. 

Franco, Jolivette, & Davis claimed they would ‘continue denial the allegations in this complaint’, but they acknowledged that Plaintiffs raised important issues. According to a section entitled ‘public statements’ in the settlement,

“And all sides strongly believe that this is the time to concentrate on Hollywood’s maltreatment of women. 

‘All agree on the need to make sure that no one in the entertainment industry — regardless of sex, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation — faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind.’ 

Jess Cagle podcast aired on Thursday, December 23.