James Franco accused of sexual harassment in civil suit

LOS ANGELES — Two women who attended the Oscar nominee James Franco’s acting school sued him and his production company Thursday, alleging the actor and his partners sexually harassed and discriminated against them and other female students.

The lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, seeks class-action status for themselves and an unspecified number of other “similarly situated women” who attended classes at Studio 4, the acting school that Franco ran from 2014 to 2017.

Franco, 41, who was nominated for an Academy Award as best actor for the 2010 film “127 Hours,” closed the school in October 2017 after multiple women accused him of having sexually exploited them when they attended the school, which had branches in New York and Los Angeles.

Tither-Kaplan, who has appeared in several short films and in Franco’s 2014-17 TV series, “Making a Scene with James Franco,” was one of those women. Gaal, who has appeared in several movies and TV series, hadn’t previously been mentioned in connection with the allegations.

The suit seeks unspecified compensatory and punitive damages at trial, as well as royalties and other compensation for work the women did for Franco’s production company, Rabbit Bandini. Franco’s business partners, Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis, are named as co-respondents along with Franco and Rabbit Bandini.

source: nbcnews.com