Actor James Franco and other two accused men for sexual misconduct have agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle the suit, which was filed by several former college students.
In October 2020, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, the former students of an acting school which is co-owned by Franco, filed a lawsuit against James Franco, Jay Davis and Vince Jolivette for sexual abuse. The suit led by Kaplan and Gaal claimed that they and several other girls were sexually exploited. They also stated that they are victims of fraud at the acting school called Studio 4, owned by Franco, which is closed today.
In the settlement announced on Wednesday, the three accused- Franco, Davis and Jolivetter, along with production company Rabbit Bandini Films (owned by Franco and Jolivette, with Davis as its general manager) and the shuttered school (co-owned by Franco and Jolivette), will pay out $2,235,000. However, the terms of deal are yet to be approved by a Los Angeles Superior Court judge.
Tither and Kaplan had sued Franco his other two partners stating that the students were promised they would be offered opportunities to audition for Franco and Rabbit Bandini as they were paying for students. The duo also stated that they paid extra for “Sex Scenes” class taught by Franco, in which they were supposed to learn how to deal with sex scenes professionally. Gaal stated that all the lessons required the students to be naked. “I did what seemed to be the thing that they wanted in this class, and that was get naked and do sex scenes and not complain and push the envelope,” said the victim.
The lawsuit accused the defendants to “sexualize their power and fame by dangling the opportunity to aspiring actors of employment in film and television in exchange for explicit nudity, sex and as Franco put it, the “pushing of boundaries'” at Studio 4.
However, Franco has repeatedly denied all the allegations by all these college women. Franco’s lawyers said that the claims were “debunked”, and called it a “scurrilous publicity-seeking lawsuit.”