Actor James Franco reached an agreement to settle the sexual abuse lawsuit filed by two former students from his acting and film school, according to the plaintiffs’ lawyers.
Litigants from the firm Valli Kane & Vagnini, LLP, representing the plaintiffs, confirmed the agreement in a statement to the AP agency on Saturday night.
The lawyers indicated that they reached an agreement, without revealing what the conditions were, if there was money involved.
Both defense attorneys and Franco’s attorneys submitted a joint document to the Los Angeles Superior Court indicating to a judge that a settlement had been reached in the class action lawsuit filed by former students of Studio 4 school, which is now closed.
The document notes that the former students, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, agreed to drop allegations that the actor tried to take sexual advantage of them and that he pressured them to perform increasingly explicit sexual scenes on camera.
The complaint filed in 2018 indicates that James Franco and Studio 4 developed inappropriate and charged behavior towards the students “sexualizing their power from teacher to employee, giving incentives for role opportunities in their projects (…) in an environment of sexual harassment and exploitation both inside and outside of classes ”.
According to the complainants, the harassment would have occurred in a master class on sex scenes taught by Franco at Studio 4, which opened in 2014 and closed in 2017.