New York, January 12 (KMW): Several women have made further claims of inappropriate sexual behavior against James Franco in a Los Angeles Times article.Â In the report published Thursday, two former student actresses described negative on-set experiences with the actor-filmmaker while being directed by him. Sarah Tither-Kaplan said in a nude orgy scene three years ago on the not-yet-released indie drama, Long Home, he removed plastic guards covering the actressesâ€™ groins while simulating sex.
Former students spoke of an unprofessional culture at Francoâ€™s now-closed acting school Studio 4, where he taught a sex scenes class. Two women said Franco became angry shooting a strip club scene when no actresses, who were masked, would go topless. One topless scene filmed during class with Tither-Kaplan was uploaded to Vimeo, she said.
Violet Paley said that during a consensual relationship, Franco once pressured her to perform oral sex in a car and that the â€œpower dynamic was really offâ€.
On Wednesday nightâ€™s Late Night With Seth Meyers, Franco said the tweets by Paley and Tither-Kaplan were â€œnot accurateâ€ but he supported the womenâ€™s right to express their perspectives. A lawyer for Franco didnâ€™t respond to queries Thursday. Francoâ€™s attorney, Michael Plonsker, disputed the allegations to the Times.
â€œThere are stories that need to get out, people that need to be heard. I have my own side of this story but I believe that these people have been under-represented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say just because I believe in that so much,â€ said Franco to Meyers. â€œIf I have to take a knock because Iâ€™m not gonna, you know, try and, you know, actively refute things then I will because I believe in it that much.â€
Paley and Tither-Kaplan earlier tweeted about their past encounters with Franco after the actor wore a pin supporting the Timeâ€™s Up initiative for gender equality at Sundayâ€™s Golden Globes. He won the award for best actor in a comedy or musical for The Disaster Artist.
Actress Ally Sheedy also said in a since-deleted tweet that Franco was an example of why she left the movie business. Franco on Tuesday told Stephen Colbert on The Late Show that he had â€œno ideaâ€ why Sheedy said that. He directed her in a 2014 off-Broadway play.
Several of Francoâ€™s collaborators defended him from some of the claims. Vince Jolivette, Francoâ€™s production partner at Rabbit Bandini Productions, which ran Studio 4, said the school â€œwas always run professionallyâ€ and that he was investigating the matter.
In a statement provided by Francoâ€™s publicist, Robin Baum, Cynthia Huffman, casting director of The Long Home said Tither-Kaplanâ€™s description of the orgy scene was inaccurate.
â€œI feel so bad that Sarah feels the way she does. She is part of our camp! All actresses were aware of the nudity scenes ahead of time,â€ said Huffman. â€œI personally checked on all the actresses constantly to make sure they were ok and comfortable. I talked to them several times and told them if they were uncomfortable or did not like what was going on to come to me immediately and I would take care of it. I did not receive any complaints.â€
In 2014, Instagram messages showed Franco apparently trying to hit on a 17-year-old Scottish fan. Afterward Franco said he was â€œembarrassedâ€ and said social media is â€œtrickyâ€. â€œI used bad judgment and I learned my lesson,â€ the actor said then.