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James Franco admits sleeping with students at his acting school

James Franco has admitted to sleeping with trainees at an acting school he used to run, claiming that he had a sex addiction and has been attempting to change his conduct in recent years.

The 43-year-old actor admitted to the Jess Cagle show that he “did sleep with students”.

The Oscar winner said that he did not open the school to entice ladies for sexual intentions.

“I suppose at the time, my thinking was if it’s consensual, okay,” he continued. “At the time, I was not clear-headed.”

Franco was nominated for an Academy Award for Best Actor in 2011 for his leading performance in Danny Boyle’s 127 Hours, and he is also renowned for his appearances in Pineapple Express and the Spider-Man movie.

Franco’s statements were his first comprehensive response to the allegations, which surfaced almost four years ago when the Los Angeles Times revealed five women had accused the actor of improper behavior.

Two women filed a civil claim against the actor in October 2019, alleging that he exploited aspiring actors at his now-defunct acting school and duped young women into filming graphic sex scenes.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, the plaintiffs, sought to represent a group of more than 100 former female students. They said the school intended to “create a steady stream of young women to objectify and exploit,” as well as “circumvent California’s ‘pay for play’ regulations,” which ban performers from paying for auditions. They told NPR in 2019 that they were promised opportunities for parts in Franco’s productions as paying students.

Students alleged they were duped into paying for acting school while being sexually objectified and threatened in this instance.

The actor said that he had kept silent for years about the claims involving his school because “there were people that were upset with me and I needed to listen”

“I’ve just been doing a lot of work and I guess I’m pretty confident in saying, four years? There were some issues that I had to deal with that were also related to addiction. And so I’ve really used my recovery background to kind of start examining this and changing who I was.”

According to records filed in Los Angeles superior court this year, the actor agreed to pay $2.2 million to resolve the law suit brought in 2019.