James Franco accused of sexual misconduct by two former acting students

James Franco accused of sexual misconduct by two former acting students

James Franco has been accused of sexual misconduct by two of his former acting students.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal claim that at the actor's now-defunct acting school, the 41-year-old tried to "create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education."

According to the lawsuit, it "led to an environment of harassment and sexual exploitation both in and out of the class."

James Franco Credit: PA Images

The lawsuit against the actor was filed in Los Angeles. It states that the alleged crimes took place at Studio 4, which operated between 2014 and 2017.

Franco allegedly charged Kaplan and Gaal $750 each to take part in a sex scene masterclass, where they were encouraged to appear topless. Everything which took place at the class was allegedly filmed by the actor for later review.

James Franco and his girlfriend. Credit: PA Images

In January 2018, the LA Times reported that one of Franco's former student said he "would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts."

The lawsuit states that female students were forced to participate in explicit sex scenes "that went far beyond the standards in the industry."

The women now want the alleged footage of themselves to be destroyed, appropriate damages, and an apology from Franco and his associates.

James Franco smiling. Credit: PA Images

A representative for the actor released a statement on Thursday regarding the allegations, stating: "This is not the first time that these claims have been made and they have already been debunked."

"We have not had an opportunity to review the ill-informed complaint in-depth since it was leaked to the press before it was filed and our client has yet to even be served.

James will not only fully defend himself, but will also seek damages from the plaintiffs and their attorneys for filing this scurrilous publicity-seeking lawsuit."