Actor James Franco — who publicly supported the celebrity-backed Time’s Up anti-sexual harassment group — and his associates have agreed to pay a $2,235,000 payout to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit filed against him last year.
In the lawsuit filed in October of 2020, Franco was alleged to have cajoled film students to commit to increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera. The students, who studied under Franco at Studio 4 Film School in New York and Los Angeles, also said they were the victims of fraud.
In their filing, former students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal claimed that Franco made them act in various states of nudity in what they termed an “orgy type setting.”
Franco, the suit said, “sought to create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education.”
The settlement has been agreed upon by Franco’s party as well as parties to the suit, Tither-Kaplan, Gaal, and the other students left unnamed.
The case is a class action suit and because of that, the terms of the settlement have been made public, the Hollywood Reporter noted.
For instance, we now know that if the deal is approved by a judge, Tither-Kaplan will receive $44,700, while Gaal will receive $149,000. Meanwhile, the lawyers will receive 298,000. Remaining money will be go to either the remaining plaintiffs in the class action or attorneys. Whatever remains of the $2,235,000 will be donated to the National Women’s Law Center.
The students will also sign an agreement to release any fraud claims.
Finally, all parties on both sides will sign an agreement that Franco and the acting school don’t admit to abuse or fraud, but do “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. 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.”