James Franco to pay $2.2M in sexual misconduct settlement

Actor James Franco attends the 21st annual Hollywood Film Awards at the Beverly Hilton Hotel in Beverly Hills, California on November 5, 2017. Photo by Jim Ruymen/UPI

July 1 (UPI) — Actor James Franco agreed to pay $2.2 million to settle a lawsuit alleging he pushed acting students to perform explicit sex scenes on camera, according to court filings made public Wednesday.

Files made public by the Los Angeles Superior Court showed Franco reached a deal to pay $2,235,000 to settle the class-action lawsuit brought by his former acting students, led by students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal. The suit alleged students taught by Franco at Studio 4 Film School in New York and Los Angeles were victims of fraud.

Under the settlement, Tither-Kaplan would receive $670,500 minus $223,500 in attorneys fees, while Gaal would be paid $223,500 with $74,500 being paid to lawyers. The remainder of the students involved in the suit would receive $1.34 million including $827,000 in attorney’s fees.

Further, the students would be required to release their fraud claims against Franco.

Students involved in the settlement would be given several months to opt out and unclaimed funds would be used as a contribution to the National Women’s Law Center.

The parties also agreed to a joint statement as part of the settlement, which was released on Wednesday.

“While defendants continue to deny the allegations in the complaint, they acknowledge that plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood,” the statement read. “All agree on the need to make sure that no one in the entertainment industry — regardless of race, religion disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation — faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind.”


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