James Franco allegedly took sexual advantage of students at his now defunct acting school, forcing some to perform topless or nude and becoming angry when they refused. Five women made the charges in a stunning expose.
Franco provoked outrage from women when he won the Golden Globe for Best Actor in a Comedy or Musical.
Actress Ally Sheedy called out Franco in a series of tweets throughout the show, which aired Sunday.
“Why is a man hosting? Why is James Franco allowed in?” Sheedy wrote.
It’s not the first time he’s been accused of sexual impropriety. In 2014, IM reported that he tried to solicit sex from a 17-year-old tourist.
Franco admitted he made sexual advances on an 17-year-old tourist in New York City three years ago.
He said it was just bad judgement and not a publicity ploy for his then-new movie “Palo Alto.”
The episode revealed the ugly side of celebrity and how some stars exploit fame for sex. His come-on occurred over social media and the texts were leak and went viral online.
But with the latest revelations, contained in the Los Angeles Times, suggest Franco’s behavior is the rule rather than the exception.
Franco’s lawyer, Michael Plonsker, denied the allegations made by all five women, according to reports.
Former girlfriend, Violet Paley, said Franco forced her to perform oral sex while they sat in his car during their relationship.
“I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out,” said Paley told the newspaper.
“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.”
The other four alleged victims, however, were students at “Studio 4,” an acting school run by the 39-year-old actor.
Franco allegedly pressured two of the women to perform topless or nude during classes or on set.
Former student Sarah Tither-Kaplan, 26 appeared topless in a short film, which was later uploaded to the Internet without her knowledge.
“Now, if you Google me, you can see me naked. 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. I don’t want that,” she told the newspaper.
The incident occurred after she enrolled in Franco’s Sex Scenes master class.
Even so, the actress has remained in contact with Franco and recently landed a role in his upcoming indie film “The Long Home,” a crime drama.
The cast includes Ashton Kutcher, Courtney Love, Robin Lord Taylor, Annaleigh Tipton, Josh Hutcherson and Oscar-winner Timothy Hutton.
During a nude orgy scene with Franco and other actresses in the film, Tither-Kaplan said Franco removed a protective cover over her vagina and performed oral sex on her for real.
Other women back her claim.
Franco’s lawyer called allegations about the protective guards inaccurate.
Casting director Cynthia Huffman said Franco made sure the women would feel comfortable and “safe” shooting the scenes.
“I feel horrible that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable but we went to great lengths to make sure all the actresses in the nude scenes felt comfortable and safe,” she said.
Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel said they were participating in a acting class in 2012 when they were picked to appear in a short art film.
Midway through filming in a strip club, Franco asked if anyone would be willing to go topless.
None of the women volunteered, causing Franco to storm off set.
“I don’t think he started teaching with bad intentions, but he went down a bad path and damaged a lot of people in the process,” said Dusome.
‘He just took advantage of our eagerness to work and be a part of something bigger. We were all these up-and-coming actors who were so hopeful,” added Chmiel.
‘The Disaster Artist’ star appeared on “The Late Show with Stephen Colbert” to address the claims.
Asked about the tweets he said, “I haven’t read them. I’ve heard about them.”
Franco said he fully supports the “Time’s Up” movement against sexual harassment, sexual assault and gender bias in the entertainment industry. The campaign was a focus of the awards ceremony.
Asked directly about the accusations made on Twitter, Franco said:
“In my life, I pride myself in taking responsibility for things I’ve done. I have to do that to maintain my well-being. I do it whenever something needs to be changed … I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they haven’t had a voice for so long. I don’t want to shut them down in any way. It’s a good thing I support. If I have done something wrong, I will fix it – I have to. That’s how that works. I don’t know what else to do.”
Franco reaffirmed his support for “Time’s Up.”
“The point is to listen. I am here to listen and learn and change perspective where it’s off. I’m completely willing and want to,” he said.