Bijou Phillips has issued an apology after being accused of homophobic bullying and physical assault by Mean Girls actor Daniel Franzese.
Franzese and Phillips both appeared in the 2001 movie Bully. It was Franzese’s first film and he went on to play Damian in Mean Girls in 2004. Franzese came out publicly as gay in 2014.
In a Facebook post last weekend, Franzese accused Phillips of on-set harassment during the “entire shoot” of Bully, claiming: “She body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me. I was scared and closeted and feared for my job.”
Franzese also alleges that at one point during filming Phillips “kicked me as hard as she could in the back of the head”. He continues: “To this day I’m not even sure if she gave me a concussion because I was light headed and dizzy for a while.”
“Bad behaviour is constantly rewarded in Hollywood but Hollywood got her number pretty quickly,” Franzese adds. “I love the movie and my other cast mates and crew, “but Bully was one of the most stressful experiences of my life on or off a set.”
Phillips has since responded with a statement to TMZ: “I want to write to address what Daniel has said. I don’t remember that time well, those years are a blur. I was a teenager and reckless in my behavior. I know Daniel to be a trustworthy and honest person, and to find out through social media that I was not the friend I thought I was to him made me so sad.”
“I am so mortified by this behavior and have contacted Daniel and apologized to him privately,” Phillips added. “I am not and never have been homophobic. I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community and Daniel.”
Franzese has since taken to Twitter to confirm that Phillips has personally apologised to him and that he “forgives” her. “I don’t know her private story,” Franzese says. “I shared this story only to bring light to a dark memory.”
Thread: I forgive @BijouPhillips because I don’t know her private story either. I shared this story only to bring light to a dark memory.
— Daniel Franzese (@WhatsupDanny) November 13, 2017
You can watch the trailer for Bully above.