NOTE: This article contains disturbing and sexually explicit language. Please read at your own discretion.
This year’s Golden Globes ceremony was held under the pall of the ongoing Hollywood sexual assault and harassment scandal, and the treatment of women was very much front and centre throughout the proceedings. Franco himself wore a “Time’s Up” pin, meant to support Hollywood women and help end harassment in the industry.
WATCH: Actor James Franco is under fire from multiple women who claimed he sexually harassed them
Seconds after winning his Golden Globe award, actor Violet Paley accused Franco, now 39, of sexually assaulting her and trying to entice her 17-year-old friend up to his hotel room.
Paley made clear that she was an adult at the time and did have a consensual relationship with Franco, but says that particular incident was against her will.
The second accuser to come forward on Globes night was Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former student at Franco’s acting school — Studio 4, which closed its doors permanently in October without explanation. She alleged the actor essentially forced his students to strip naked on set for $100 per day (after signing a “vague and general at best” contract).
Tither-Kaplan accused Franco of only giving roles to women if they involved nudity, and over the years, other sordid tales of Franco forcing his students to strip naked and simulate sex for his classes have popped up online.
After other Twitter users chastized Tither-Kaplan for signing the contract in the first place, she countered by saying she felt like she had no choice.
The third accuser on Globes night was Breakfast Club actor Ally Sheedy, 55. In a series of now-deleted tweets, Sheedy cryptically hinted at unsavoury behaviour on Franco’s part without getting specific. The ’80s actor seemed to be insinuating that the award show’s theme — supporting women — and Franco being bestowed with one of the biggest awards of the night didn’t quite mesh.
Sheedy starred in an off-Broadway play directed by Franco, The Long Shrift, in 2014. Since the tweets, neither she nor Franco has elaborated on what she meant.
That same year, Franco came under fire when he was caught allegedly attempting to engage with a 17-year-old girl, Lucy Clode, on Instagram.
At the time, Clode was visiting New York from Scotland. She met Franco outside another one of his plays and they began to chat on the social media platform. The chats eventually leaked online.
Clode posted the messages, ignoring Franco’s request that she not tell anyone.
Franco addressed the instant messages shortly afterwards on Live With Kelly and Michael, admitting that he was hitting on the girl, but “social media is tricky.”
“I guess I’m, you know, embarrassed, and I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky,” he said, confessing to using “bad judgment.”
“In my position, not only do I have to go through the embarrassing rituals of meeting someone but sometimes it gets published for the world,” he added.
In an indicator of how much has changed over the last few years, the Kelly and Michael audience laughs along at his confession and the hosts continue on to the next topic.
None of these accusations against Franco has been proven in court, and no charges have been laid against the actor. He has not commented on the new accusations.
If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.
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