The Associated Press reported on Saturday that Franco’s legal team reached an agreement in the class-action suit brought against the actor by former students of the now-defunct Studio 4 acting school. Although the two parties have agreed on a settlement, there are elements of the lawsuit that could continue.
Actresses and ex-students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal filed the lawsuit in 2019. Per documents, Franco allegedly urged students to perform explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting” for his master class on sex scenes that he taught at the school. It also alleges 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” and that he led them to believe a role in his films would be available if they went along with his desires.
Franco made it clear in his court appearances that the accusations were “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.” He also pointed out that the two plaintiffs have expressed gratitude for his tutelage in the past and that they jumped on the #MeToo bandwagon.
Alongside Franco, the actor’s production company, Rabbit Bandini, and his partners including Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis were named as defendants. The settlement document was filed on Feb. 11., and though the money agreed upon was not disclosed to AP, each party must submit documents for preliminary court approval by March 15.