James Franco denies allegations of sexual misconduct

FILE James Franco

FILE James Franco

Five women spoke out in an article published Thursday on what they allege was an abuse of power and sexual misconduct at the hands of Oscar-nominated actor James Franco.

Four of the women who accuse Franco of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior were students at Studio 4, the film school Franco founded; the fifth says Franco served as a mentor. "I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable", she said.

Both Dusome and Chmiel recounted Franco getting angry on a set when none of the actress acquiesced to his request that they take their shirts off. Chmiel says she was told the footage for a jeans commercial; Dusome thought it was for one of his "art films".

Violet Paley said that during a consensual relationship, Franco once pressured her to perform oral sex in a auto and that the "power dynamic was really off".

Two of the women featured, actors Violet Paley and Sarah Tither-Kaplan, expanded on claims they had made on Twitter in the wake of Franco's Golden Globes victory for his performance in his latest film, The Disaster Artist.

Paley and Tither-Kaplan earlier tweeted about their past encounters with Franco after the actor wore a pin supporting the "Time's Up" initiative for gender equality at Sunday's Golden Globes. She says she was on the receiving end of or saw numerous instances of Franco exploiting his power over women as a celebrity-director-producer in inappropriate ways, including getting angry when actresses wouldn't take their tops off and the aforementioned oral sex scene, which occurred while filming the now unreleased film The Long Home in 2015.

Through his attorney, Franco denied the allegations in the story.

When asked by Colbert about how to come to some sense of the truth so that there can be a possible reconciliation between the people who have different views, Franco said that if he's done something wrong he will fix it.

"I just didn't want him to hate me, so I did it", she told the Times. "I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don't say no to this guy", she said.

Hilary Dusome, 33, said Franco approached the group of actresses and asked, "So, who wants to take your shirt off?"

"I think, well, the ones I read were not accurate", the actor said.

A visibly uncomfortable James Franco appeared on "Late Night With Seth Meyers" Wednesday night and discussed his continued support of the Time's Up movement.

"If I have to take a knock because I am not going to try and actively refute things then I will because I believe in it that much", Franco added.

Look, my fan base is like 17-year-old girls.

Franco's publicist did not provide any additional statement from the actor when contacted by the Press Association.

"There are stories that need to get out", Franco told Meyers.

"I'm embarrassed and I guess I'm just a model of how social media is tricky", Franco said at the time. "So, I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson".

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