Member Since: 12/2/05
Violet Paley, 23, told The Times that when she met Franco in early 2016 she was eager to become a filmmaker and that he had been willing to give her notes on her script.
They had begun a romantic relationship when she said he pressured her into performing oral sex on him -- an act she'd never done with him at that point -- while sitting in her car.
"I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out," said Paley. "I got really nervous, and I said, 'Can we do this later?' He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn't want him to hate me, so I did it."
She began to perform the sex act, but was uncomfortable. To extricate herself from the situation, she told Franco she spotted someone near the car.
Franco's attorney, Plonsker, denied Paley's allegations, calling them "not accurate."
Later, Paley said, she and Franco advanced their consensual sexual relationship. Today, she said she would have handled the encounter in the car differently, especially in the wake of the Weinstein scandal. "I would say, 'No, stop, get out of my car,'" she said. "The power dynamic was really off."
Amid social media criticism that her allegations detract from criminal allegations against Hollywood figures, Paley has defended her right to speak out while also acknowledging that her story is complicated by her and Franco's consensual relationship. "It's been hard to come forward about this," she wrote on Twitter.
2. Agreed to appear nude in projects, by signing contracts agreeing to appear nude.
In 2015, Franco asked Tither-Kaplan to play a prostitute in another of his projects, the feature film "The Long Home," with a cast that included him, Josh Hutcherson, Courtney Love and Timothy Hutton.
The part required her to perform nude, and she agreed because she considered it a big break. In fact, she signed nudity agreements for each of the films she made with Franco.
But one day on set in May 2015, a producer approached her and other women to ask if they wanted to film a "bonus scene" of an orgy. In it, Tither-Kaplan appeared fully nude, she said. A handful of other women were selected to appear with Franco, who simulated performing oral sex on each of them, Tither-Kaplan said. But in each case, she said he removed a clear plastic guard that covered their vaginas -- and continued to simulate the sex act with no protection.
Then, Tither-Kaplan said, she and her female co-stars were asked to appear topless in an unscripted scene and dance around Franco while wearing animal skulls atop their heads. One actress who balked was sent home the next day, Tither-Kaplan said.
"I got it in my head pretty quickly that, OK, you don't say 'no' to this guy," she said.
Yeah you decided you didn't want to do the scene, so they sent you home... what was the other option? Have you watch other people do the scene you weren't interested in doing? The thing about the guards should be easily provable by other crew on set and sounds like it is disputed.
Franco's attorney, Plonsker, said "the allegations about the protective guards are not accurate." He also pointed to numerous social media posts by Tither-Kaplan that reflected a positive experience on the set.
Tither-Kaplan acknowledged those glowing remarks -- she said she had been excited about making new friends during production and also wanted to promote her work on a notable project. Still, she said, the negative experiences were "red flags."
In a statement provided by Franco's attorney, Cynthia Huffman, a casting director who worked on "The Long Home," said she did not receive any complaints and that she "personally checked on all the actresses constantly to make sure they were ok and comfortable."
"James is all about giving up and comers, actors and actresses and young filmmakers a break in this business," Huffman said. "I feel horrible that anyone was made to feel uncomfortable but we went to great lengths to make sure all the actresses in the nude scenes felt comfortable and safe."
3. Again, declined to be in a scene. The horror.
Hilary Dusome, 33, who took a class from Franco in 2012, said that at first, she found him to be "a really generous spirit" eager to help aspiring actors.
Her feelings shifted after being selected to appear, with a handful of other female students, in what she thought was one of Franco's "art films." Natalie Chmiel, the other student, said she was told the footage would be used in a 7 For All Mankind jeans commercial.
Both women described what they considered to be an unprofessional and hostile shoot at a strip club.
Midway through filming, Dusome said Franco approached the actresses -- who wore masks and lingerie -- and asked, "So, who wants to take your shirt off?"
When no actresses volunteered, Franco stormed off, Dusome recalled.
"I felt like I was selected for something based on my hard work and my merit, and when I realized it was because I have nice [breasts], it was pretty clear that was not the case," Dusome said. "I don't think he started teaching with bad intentions, but he went down a bad path and damaged a lot of people in the process."
Chmiel, 33, also recalled Franco asking the women if any of them wanted to take their top off, and that he was "visibly angry" when they declined.
"He just took advantage of our eagerness to work and be a part of something bigger," Chmiel said. "We were all these up-and-coming actors who were so hopeful."
Franco did not make the request the women alleged, his attorney said.
I give up trying to follow this meandering article that switches back and forth. It starts by saying there are 5 accusations then goes all over the place. Mostly it sounds like people are mad he offered them roles that they found demeaning or involved nudity. Some did them, some didn't. Wow being an adult and being given a choice of doing a job. The horror.