James Franco has addressed sexual misconduct allegations against him after settling a $2.2 million lawsuit that alleged that he and his associates pressured acting students to perform sexually explicit scenes on camera, Variety reports. The actor delivered his statement on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle podcast, where he talked about the allegations and his history with addiction.
Check out clips from the podcast below.
“In 2018, there were some complaints about me and an article about me. And at that moment I just thought, ‘I’m gonna be quiet. I’m gonna pause.’ [It] did not seem like the right time to say anything. There were people that were upset with me and I needed to listen,” Franco said.
In January 2018, five women from Franco’s acting school Studio 4 accused him of sexually exploitative behavior. Two of the students filed a lawsuit in 2019 arguing that classes took place mainly for Franco and his associates to take advantage of young women. In June 2021, Franco paid more than $2 million as a settlement.
Franco claimed that he’s been focusing on himself in the wake of the allegations and was subjected to treatment for substance abuse that aided his addiction issues.
“I’ve just been doing a lot of work and I guess I’m pretty confident in saying four years? I was in recovery before for substance abuse,” he said. “There were some issues that I had to deal with that were also related to addiction. And so I’ve really used my recovery background to kind of start examining this and changing who I was.”