Two out of the five women who accused James Franco of sexual misconduct have released a statement following the actor’s recent interview in which he opened up about his sex addiction.
The actor, while teaching, admitted he “did sleep with students, and that was wrong”. He said he did not start his acting school to lure women for sexual purposes.
“I suppose at the time, my thinking was if it’s consensual, okay,” he said during his appearance on the SiriusXM podcast. “At the time I was not clearheaded.”
Earlier this year, he settled a 2019 civil lawsuit with two of his former students — Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal – and agreed to pay $2.2 million.
Following his interview, the women have released a statement through their law firms Valli Kane & Vagnini LLP and Hadsell, Stormer Renick & Dai LLP.
“In addition to being blind about power dynamics, Franco is completely insensitive to, and still apparently does not care about, the immense pain and suffering he put his victims through with this sham of an acting school,” the statement said, People reports.
“It is unbelievable that even after agreeing to a settlement he continues to downplay the survivors’ experiences and ignore their pain, despite acknowledging he had no business starting such a school in the first place.”
The statement continues: “This wasn’t a misunderstanding over a course name, it wasn’t the result of him being overworked — it was, and is, despicable conduct. Nobody should confuse this interview with Franco taking accountability for his actions or expressing remorse over what happened. It is a transparent ducking of the real issues released just before a major holiday in hopes that he wouldn’t face any scrutiny over his response.”