James Franco, the newly-crowned Best Actor at the Golden Globes, has been accused of inappropriate or sexually exploitative behaviour by five different women.
The American actor and director, 39, used a televised interview with Stephen Colbert to deny accusations of sexual misconduct, however a number of individuals have come forward publicly with separate allegations.
All five women have given interviews to the Los Angeles Times, making allegations about Franco’s on-set conduct.
Franco, who won his Best Actor award for The Disaster Artist (a film which he also directed), was accused of hypocrisy for wearing a ‘Time’s Up’ pin – in solidarity with survivors of sexual discrimination, harrassment and assault – at the ceremony.
Allegations were made on social media by individuals including actress Violet Paley and filmmaker Sarah Tither-Kaplan, prompting Franco to tell Colbert “the things I heard on Twitter are not accurate”.
However, both Paley and Tither-Kaplan are among the five women to have spoken to the LA Times about their alleged experiences with the 127 Hours and Spring Breakers actor.
Cute #TIMESUP pin James Franco. Remember the time you pushed my head down in a car towards your exposed penis & that other time you told my friend to come to your hotel when she was 17? After you had already been caught doing that to a different 17 year old?— Violet Paley (@VioletPaley) January 8, 2018
Paley has accused Franco, with whom she had been involved romantically, of pressuring her into oral sex when she hadn’t previously performed the act with him.
She addressed the power dynamic of the situation and claimed she would have responded differently if the same thing happened today in a post-Weinstein environment.
Franco’s lawyer, Michael Plonsker, has disputed this and the other allegations.
“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,” said Tither-Kaplan, who has made allegations relating to the filming of The Long Home in 2015.
She has accused Franco of removing protective guards during the filming of a sex scene and continuing to simulate oral sex with them removed, a claim which has also been made by a second actress present at the filming.
Plonsker made reference to specific allegations from Tither-Kaplan, calling them “not accurate”.
Students Hillary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel are among the others to come forward with stories, theirs relating to the time they took Franco’s acting classes at Playhouse West in Hollywood.
Dusome alleges that Franco stormed off after asking during a shoot which of the actresses present wanted to take their shirts off and receiving no responses.
Chmiel recalled the same incident in her interview with the LA Times and said: “He just took advantage of our eagerness to work and be a part of something bigger.”
In a statement, Plonsker told the paper that Franco did not make the request alleged by Dusome and Chmiel.
The fifth individual to come forward with allegations of improper behaviour, Katie Ryan, was a student of Franco’s at Studio 4.
“[Franco] would always make everybody think there were possible roles on the table if we were to perform sexual acts or take off our shirts,” she alleged.
According to Franco’s lawyer, he “[is] not aware that any of the actions alleged by Ms. Ryan ever occurred”.