A lawsuit alleging that James Franco intimidated students in gratuitous and abusive sexual situations at a theater and film school he founded has been tentatively settled, lawyers for the plaintiffs say.
Plaintiffs’ attorneys at Valli Kane & Vagnini, LLP, confirmed the deal in a statement to The Associated Press on Saturday night. They claimed it would be “further commemorated in a joint settlement stipulation to be filed with the court at a later date,” but provided no further comments or details on a possible currency exchange.
The Los Angeles Superior Court received a file from both parties indicating that an interim settlement was reached in the class action. This document was filed on February 11, but was revealed on Saturday by lawyers for the former students who filed a complaint. The named defendants included Franco’s production company, Rabbit Bandini, and his partners Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis.
‘The Deuce’ Finale: Co-Creator George Pelecanos on NYC Porn Biz Series’ Fade To Black
Studio 4, now defunct, was the scene of the dispute. Actresses and ex-students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal filed a lawsuit in 2019. They claimed Franco pushed his students to perform in increasingly explicit sex scenes in front of the camera in a “setting”. orgy type ”and went beyond acceptable standards.
The lawsuit claimed that Franco “sought to create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education.” In addition, the students believed that the roles in Franco’s films would be the reward for their participation in these scenes.
The alleged incidents happened in a master class on the sex scenes Franco was teaching at Studio 4, which closed in 2017.
The plaintiffs agreed to drop their individual claims under the agreement, according to the court record. The allegations of sexual exploitation of other plaintiffs in connection with the class action will be dismissed without prejudice. This means they could be re-filed, the joint status report says. The fraud allegations made by these plaintiffs will be “subject to limited disclosure,” according to the document, but without going into details about it.
Franco’s lawyers have yet to comment. In their filings in the lawsuit, they said his claims were “false and inflammatory, without legal merit, and brought as a class action suit with the obvious aim of gaining as much publicity as possible for attention-hungry plaintiffs.”
Franco won a Golden Globe Award for The artist of disaster early 2018, at the height of the #MeToo movement.
The original 33-page trial can be read here.
The joint situation report filed in Los Angeles Superior Court read: “The claims of the sexual exploitation class will be dismissed without prejudice. The Class Notice will inform the Class that sexual exploitation claims are not disclosed or resolved under this settlement, but are dismissed without prejudice, and that the statute of limitations has been imposed during the duration of this lawsuit. and the remainder until the court grants final approval and the appeal period has expired. The parties have also reached agreement on several non-economic terms which will be further detailed in the final settlement documents. “