James Franco set to pay $2.2million to settle student sexual misconduct lawsuit (Image: GETTY)
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James Franco has reportedly agreed to pay out $2,235,000 in order to settle a lawsuit that centered on allegations of sexual misconduct.
The 43-year-old actor, known for films such as Pineapple Express and 127 Hours, is set to resolve a class-action lawsuit that was launched by two of Franco's former film students, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal.
In 2020, the two former students alleged that Franco had been involved with 'inappropriate and sexually charged behaviour towards female students' at the Studio 4 Film School in New York and Los Angeles.
According to the Hollywood Reporter, he was accused of encouraging students into performing explicit sex scenes in front of the camera.
James Franco has agreed to pay out $2.2 million
On Wednesday, court filings linked to the case were made public and Franco's proposed settlement is now going to be put in front of a judge, who will decide whether to approve it.
It was reported that Sarah Tither-Kaplan will receive $670,500 with $223,500 being deducted for lawyers fees. Toni Gaal will have a payout of $223,500 with $74,500 paid to the lawyers. The remaining $1.341 million will be reportedly divided among other students that were involved with the lawsuit, minus further lawyer fees.
According to the report, the remainder of the settlement will be donated to the National Women’s Law Center.
The actor was accused of sexual misconduct by his former acting students
A statement in the settlement read: "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.
"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.”
It is not the first time that Franco's behaviour around his students has been brought into focus.
In 2018, five women came forward and spoke to the Los Angeles Times and alleged that Franco had been acting in a sexually exploitative manner on set. Tither-Kaplan was one of the five original women who went public at the time.
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James Franco has always denied the allegations made against him.
In 2014, the actor also faced controversy when he slid into the DMs of a 17-year-old he had encountered outside a theatre in New York.
"'I'm embarrassed and I guess I'm just a model of how social media is tricky," Franco said after his messages – in which he asked for her age and even offered to get a hotel room – were made public.
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