It comes days after the actor wore a #TimesUp pin to the Golden Globes
James Franco faces further accusations of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behaviour, with more details of the allegations facing the actor revealed.
Last Sunday night (January 7), Franco picked up the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Motion Picture Musical or Comedy for his role as Tommy Wiseau in The Disaster Artist.
After a series of accusations were made on Twitter, Franco appeared on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert on Tuesday night (January 9), describing the claims as “not accurate”.
Now, five women have accused Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behaviour in a LA Times article.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student at the film school Franco founded, claims that during a nude orgy scene she filmed with Franco and several other women three years ago, the star “removed protective plastic guards covering other actresses’ vaginas while simulating oral sex on them”.
Tither-Kaplan says that Franco later got in touch with her after the Harvey Weinstein scandal broke to apologise for making her feel uncomfortable.
Meanwhile, two other former acting students of Franco’s, Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel claim that the actor became “visibly angry” when they refused to go topless during a shoot for a jeans advert.
Katie Ryan, another former student at Franco’s Studio 4 film school, alleged that he “would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts.”
Actress and writer Violet Paley – another of Franco’s original accusers – also spoke to the LA Times about her accusations against Franco.
Paley initially claimed that Franco once “pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis”, attempted to lure her 17-year-old friend to his hotel and said she witnessed Franco displaying non-consensual behaviour towards other women.
Detailing her first claim further, Paley has now said: “I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out. I got really nervous, and I said, ‘Can we do this later?’ He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it.”
Paley claims that Franco spoke to her on the phone recently and apologised for his behaviour, but stressed that he hadn’t done “anything illegal” and insisted that he was “a changed man”.
Franco’s attorney, Michael Plonsker, has disputed all of the women’s allegations and points to Franco’s response made earlier on Colbert.
Tither-Kaplan previously tweeted that Franco had recently denied that the nude scene she shot with him was exploitative because she “signed a contract to do it”.
During the Golden Globes broadcast, meanwhile, The Breakfast Club actress Ally Sheedy named Franco in a series of since-deleted cryptic tweets, writing: “Why is James Franco allowed in? Said too much”.
Sheedy – who Franco directed in an off-Broadway play – later added: “James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/TV business”.
Franco responded to the allegations during his appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert in the US on Tuesday night (January 9).
After reiterating his support for the #TimesUp campaign, Franco said he hadn’t read the tweets but he had “heard about them”.
“The things that I heard that went 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,” he said. “I don’t want to shut them down in any way. I think it’s a good thing and I support it.”
Franco also addressed Ally Sheedy’s tweets, saying: “I have no idea what I did to Ally Sheedy. I have no idea why she was upset. I can’t speak for her. I don’t know.”
A New York Times event which had been billed as a James Franco Q&A was later cancelled, with the publication saying in a statement: “Given the controversy surrounding recent allegations, we’re no longer comfortable proceeding in that vein.”