In the lawsuit, the plaintiffs alleged that Franco ran a “Sex Scenes” master class at the now-defunct film and acting school Studio 4 and that “student-actors were encouraged to perform and improvise sexual acts during the audition process.” The suit said Franco did not attend the tryouts but rather had them taped, after which he “hand-picked” his students.
“I wasn’t the person that selected the people to be in the class,” Franco said on the podcast. “So it wasn’t a master plan on my part. But yes, there were certain instances where, you know what, I was in a consensual thing with a student and I shouldn’t have been. I suppose at the time, my thinking was if it’s consensual, OK. Of course I knew, talking to other people, other teachers or whatever, like, yeah, it’s probably not a cool thing. At the time, I was not clearheaded.”
The lawsuit claimed that Franco displayed “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.” The suit also claimed that students were “routinely pressured to engage in simulated sex acts that went far beyond the standards in the industry.”