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James Franco Settlement Agreement for Sexual Misconduct

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7:38 p.m. PST 02/20/2021

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Associated press

Actresses and ex-students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who first filed the lawsuit in 2019, have agreed to drop their individual claims under the deal, according to the court record.

A settlement agreement was reached in a lawsuit that allegedly intimidated students at a theater and film school he founded into gratuitous and abusive sex.

A situation report filed jointly by the two parties in Los Angeles Superior Court said a settlement was reached in the class action lawsuit brought by former students at the now-defunct school, Studio 4, although elements of the trial may continue. The document was filed on February 11, but the settlement has yet to be reported.

Actresses and ex-students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who first filed the lawsuit in 2019, have agreed to drop their individual claims under the deal, according to the court record. Their lawsuit said Franco had pressured his students to perform in increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy-like setting” that went far beyond those acceptable on Hollywood movie sets.

He alleged that Franco “sought to create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education,” and that the students were led to believe that the roles in Franco’s films would be available for those accompanying them.

The prosecutions said the incidents occurred in a master class on the sex scenes Franco was teaching at Studio 4, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2017.

The two sides had been negotiating a settlement for several months, and the progress of the lawsuit was halted while they spoke. Emails to several lawyers on both sides requesting comment on the deal and more details on the terms were not immediately returned.

In a previous court filing, Franco’s lawyers, while praising the #MeToo movement that helped inspire the lawsuit, called his claims “bogus and inflammatory, without legal basis and brought as a class action lawsuit in the obvious goal of getting as much publicity as possible to get attention. -hungry Plaintiffs. ”They pointed out that Tither-Kaplan had previously expressed gratitude for the opportunity to work with Franco.

The lawsuit also names Franco Rabbit Bandini’s production company and its partners, including Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis, as defendants. The sexual exploitation allegations of other plaintiffs in the class action lawsuit will be dismissed without prejudice, meaning they can be re-filed, the joint situation report says. The allegations of fraud made by these complainants will be “subject to limited disclosure,” the document said, without further details or explanation.

The document does not reveal how much money could be involved in the deal, which the parties say they will submit for preliminary court approval by March 15.

Before filing the complaint, Tither-Kaplan aired his sexual misconduct allegations against Franco with other women in the Los Angeles Times after Franco won a Golden Globe Award for The disaster artist in early 2018, when the wave of the #MeToo movement swept through Hollywood.

In a later interview on The Late Show with Stephen ColbertFranco called the sexual misconduct stories about him inaccurate, but said, “If I did something wrong, I’ll fix it.” I have to do it.

Franco, 42, best known for starring in comedies with Seth Rogen, has generally kept a low profile since the allegations arose in what had been a very productive period which culminated in the famous Disaster artist.



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