James Franco settles sexual misconduct lawsuit for $2.2 million

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Talk about a disaster artist.

James Franco has settled his sexual misconduct lawsuit for $2,235,000, Variety reported on Wednesday.

The multimillion-dollar figure was revealed in court filings obtained by the outlet and is pending approval by a Los Angeles judge.

Plaintiffs Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal filed the class-action complaint in LA in October 2019, alleging that Franco, now 43, and his business partner Vince Jolivette had “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students by sexualizing their power as a teacher and an employer by dangling the opportunity for roles in their projects” at the acting school the pair once operated.

The parties had first come to an agreement regarding the suit in February. Franco’s production company, Rabbit Bandini, and another of his partners, Jay Davis, were also named.

Tither-Kaplan and Gaal further claimed that students at the $300/month acting school who were willing to strip for Franco and his pals were given preferential treatment.

Per Variety, the proposed cash split in the settlement is as follows: $894,000 would go to Tither-Kaplan and Gaal — divided into $670,500 and $223,500, respectively, minus attorney fees — with $1,341,000 being put into a common fund for the remaining members of the class action.

Tither-Kaplan and Gaal reportedly have approximately two months to turn down the settlement should they want to pursue further action; any unclaimed funds are slated to be contributed to the National Women’s Center.

Franco’s attorneys previously shot down Tither-Kaplan and Gaal’s claims as “false and inflammatory, legally baseless and brought as a class action with the obvious goal of grabbing as much publicity as possible for attention-hungry Plaintiffs.”

The settlement also includes a provision for a joint statement by all parties that allows Franco to continue to deny the allegations, while “[acknolwedging] that Plaintiffs have raised important issues.”

The joint statement continues, “All parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on address the mistreatment of women in Hollywood. All agree on the need to make sure that no one in the entertainment industry — regardless of sex, race, religion, disability, ethnicity, background, gender or sexual orientation — faces discrimination, harassment or prejudice of any kind.”

Franco and Jolivette’s Studio 4, which had branches in Los Angeles and New York, opened in 2014 and closed in 2017.

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