Hollywood actor James Franco has agreed to pay a $ 2.2million (£ 1.6million) settlement after being accused of coaxing college girls into explicit sex scenes in front of the camera.
Franco was sued in Los Angeles in October 2019 by alumni of his theater and film school.
The class action lawsuit, led by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, alleged he abused his position and suspended role opportunities in his films. The students claimed to have been victims of fraud for paying for drama school while being sexually objectified and intimidated.
Recently revealed court documents show Franco, 43, and his business partners have come to an agreement with the accusers, and the agreement must now be signed by a judge.
According to the proposals, Tither-Kaplan will receive $ 670,500 (£ 485,000) less legal fees, while Gaal is expected to receive $ 223,500 (£ 161,000), less legal fees. The rest will go to other students as well as legal fees.
The alleged abuse trial took place at Franco’s Studio 4 film school, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2017.
Tither-Kaplan had previously made allegations of sexual misconduct against Franco, shortly after winning a Golden Globe for his film The Disaster Artist in 2018. Franco denied them at the time.
If a judge approves the settlement, all parties will issue a joint statement in which Franco would continue to deny the allegations.
It would read: “The parties and their lawyers are pleased to have resolved parts of this dispute and the ongoing trial.
“While the defendants continue to deny the allegations contained in the complaint, they acknowledge that the plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties firmly believe that now is the time to focus on addressing the abuse of women in Hollywood. “
Franco has appeared in films including Pineapple Express, This Is The End and 127 Hours, for which he was nominated for an Oscar for Best Actor.