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James Franco Is Being Accused Of Sexually Exploiting Students At His Acting School

According to The New York Times, actor James Franco is being accused of sexual exploitation of two women who attended his acting school

Franco opened his acting school Studio 4 in 2014 with Vince Jolivette.


Studio 4 held classes in New York and Los Angeles before abruptly closing back in October 2017.

Former students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal are now suing Franco and his two business partners along with his production company for allegedly sexually exploiting women who paid to take classes at the acting school.

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As reported by the New York Times, the men allegedly "engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects."

Tither-Kaplan and Gaal told the publication they intend to include more than 100 former Studio 4 students in their suit, and allege that the school was set up to "create a steady stream of young women to objectify and exploit."

Twitter | @studio4NYC

Tither-Kaplan was one of Studio 4's first students.

Franco taught a "master class" called Sex Scenes. According to the complaint, students had to not only audition for the class, but pay an extra $750 for it.

Tither-Kaplan was selected for the class and was initially thrilled to participate.

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"I wanted to do my best... So I did what seemed to be the thing that they wanted in this class, and that was get naked and do sex scenes and not complain and, you know, push the envelope. And ... I felt encouraged when I just went for it."

In 2016, Franco made a docuseries based on his Sex Scenes class that he posted on his Facebook page.

Gaal said nudity was almost always a requirement for female students.

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"We were consistently auditioning for projects that had nudity, and we had to upload our self-tapes at home, so they were consistently getting footage of this sensitive nature of work," she told the publication.

Allegations about Franco's acting school first surfaced in early 2018, after the actor appeared onstage to accept his Golden Globe Award while wearing a Time’s Up pin.

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Four days later, the Los Angeles Times published five seperate women’s accounts (including Tither-Kaplan) of sexual misconduct by the actor, including several stemming from requests Franco allegedly made of the young actresses enrolled in classes at his acting school.

Franco has denied the allegations.