Nearly four years after being accused of sexual misconduct, actor and writer James Franco has broken his silence by admitting his first denied claims and saying it was wrong to sleep with students.
The Oscar nominee, best known for his role in Sam Rimi’s Spider-Man series, Pineapple Express, and The Interview, has revealed that he struggled with sexual addiction for years after fainting from alcoholism at a young age. “During my teaching, I slept with students and it was wrong,” Franco told Jess Caggle on his SiriusXM podcast this week.
The 43-year-old actor said that there are times when he is convinced that it is right to have a consensual relationship with a student.
” But, like I said, it’s not because I started school, it’s not because I chose the people who should be in the class. So it was not a ‘master plan’ on my part. But yes, you know, I was in agreement with a student and I should not have done that, ”he said.
” Like I said, I was not clear at the time. So, I guess it comes down to my criteria, ‘If it’s consensual, I think it’s fun. We are all adults … ” ” he added.
Franco described his sexual addiction, which he was treating, as a ‘strong drug’. Before his current girlfriend Isabel Paxad, the actor said that he cheated on everyone.
” I’m been stuck in it for twenty years. The mysterious part of it is that I was free from alcohol all that time. All that time I went to meetings. I even tried to sponsor others. Then in my head, ‘Oh, I’m calm. I lead a spiritual life. ‘ By the way, I’m working on all these other methods now, I could not see it, ” he explained.
In 2018, allegations of sexual abuse surfaced against Francois, alleging that several students at his former acting school threatened them with sexual harassment. According to Variety, the claims led to a lawsuit that was settled by Franco in June 2021 for $ 2,235,000.
His acting school Playhouse West Studio 4, which opened in 2014, closed permanently in 2017.
” I disappointed many. I disappointed my students … I hosted the Oscars. I let them down. I disappointed my colleagues in my films, ” Franco told Cagill.
He addressed a breakup with Seth Rojan, a longtime friend and collaborator who severed ties with the actor in May, adding that he had no plans to work with Franco again.
” I have to say, I like Seth Rojan. I like Seth Rojan. I worked with him for 20 years and we never had a fight. For 20 years, not a fight. He was my closest work friend and collaborator. We were shocked … what he said was true. We are not working together now and we have no plans to work together, ”he said.
Franco said that when he was hurt by Rojan’s remarks, he realized that his ex – work partner had to answer for him because he was silent.
” He has to answer me, I don’t want that. That’s why one of the main reasons I want to talk to you today is that neither Seth nor my brother (actor and filmmaker Dave Franco) nor anyone else has to answer for me anymore, “he added.
Franco and Rojan collaborated on a series of films, including This Is The End, The Pineapple Express, The Interview, and The Sausage Party.