BREAKING: In a new lawsuit, two plaintiffs allege that James Franco and others ran a sham acting school in a systematic ploy to sexually & financially prey upon young, impressionable women at the start of their careers. https://t.co/2HthMQAjBY— TIME'S UP (@TIMESUPNOW) October 3, 2019
James Franco is being sued by 2 students of his acting school, who say the actor used the now-defunct school as a way to sexually and financially prey upon young women looking to launch their careers.
The class action complaint was filed Thursday by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who enrolled at the school in 2014. The women claim Franco convinced students to engage in explicit nudity, sex and the "pushing of boundaries" by promising acting opportunities that never materialized or were never released. They're also suing RabbitBandini Productions, the school's co-owner and its general manager.
The women say the school was a ploy to "create a steady stream of young women to objectify and exploit" and a "fraudulent institution designed to circumvent California's 'Pay for Play' regulations and lure students in by providing them false hopes of acquiring job opportunities with Franco's productions."
Franco and his partners “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects.” These actions, the suit says, “led to an environment of harassment and sexual exploitation both in and out of the class.”
Franco's acting school included one advanced class called "Master Class: Sex Scenes" that the actor personally taught.
The school, called Studio 4, was opened in 2014 with branches in Los Angeles and New York. It closed in October 2017 after complaints of sexual harassment by a number of students who came forward to the media.
Franco nor his attorney have responded to the lawsuit.