James Franco and two of his associates have agreed to pay more than $2 million to settle a class-action lawsuit filed by former acting school students. The agreement will now go before a judge for approval.
The Hollywood Reporter reports that two former students, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, claim Franco pressured them into inappropriate, increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera. As a result, the two filed a lawsuit alleging that students of his Studio 4 Film School were victims of fraud. The school eventually closed in 2017.
Tither-Kaplan is getting $670,500, minus $223,500in legal fees. Gaal will get $223,500, minus $74,500 in legal fees. And about two-thirds of the remaining payout of $1.341 million would be distributed to the other students. Lawyer’s fees would total around $827,000. Any remaining money will go toward the National Women’s Law Center.
Franco has also agreed to “non-economic” terms for Tither-Kaplan and Gall; however, those terms have not been released.
The parties have also agreed to the following statement, which reads in part: “While Defendants continue to deny the allegations in the Complaint, they acknowledge that Plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood. All agree on the need to make sure that no one in the entertainment industry — regardless of race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation — faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind.”