A settlement has been reached in a lawsuit against James Franco alleging “sexual exploitation” by the actor at a now-defunct acting school. The Associated Press reports that a document announcing the agreement was filed on Feb. 11 in Los Angeles Superior Court. The class-action lawsuit was first filed in 2019, with the lead plaintiffs—former students of an acting school founded by Franco—accusing the actor of seeking to “create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education.” The plaintiffs will reportedly drop their individual claims as part of the settlement. No further details on the terms were immediately available.
Attorneys for Franco had previously described the allegations in the suit as “false and inflammatory,” arguing that they were leveled against the actor “with the obvious goal of grabbing as much publicity as possible for attention-hungry Plaintiffs.” Several women went public with sexual misconduct claims against Franco in early 2018, at the height of the MeToo movement, after the actor was seen wearing a Time’s Up pin at the Golden Globe Awards. At the time, Franco first described some unspecified allegations against him as “not accurate” before saying he had his “own side of this story” that he chose to withhold out of respect for Time's Up.