Former NYU professor sues James Franco for defamation

Taylor Bigler Entertainment Editor
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Actor, artist, poet, fiction writer, director, celebrity, model, stoner — and now defendant — James Franco was slapped with a lawsuit by his former New York University professor Wednesday.

José Angel Santana is suing Franco for defamation after the actor said that he was an “awful” teacher and seeks unspecified monetary damages, the New York Post reports.

Franco told Showbiz411 in 2010 that he received a “D” in Santana’s “Directing the Actor” class, and that he only attended 12 out of 14 classes because it was a waste of time.

“I didn’t feel like I needed to waste my time with a bad teacher,” Franco said at the time.

Santana says he was fired from the prestigious university because of Franco’s remarks, and has already sued the school for wrongful termination because he says NYU was unhappy that he gave the actor a bad grade.

“Whoever was in Clint Eastwood’s chair at the Republican National Convention was more present than Mr. Franco was in my classes,” Santana told the Post. “[Franco] uses the bully pulpit of his celebrity to punish anyone who doesn’t do his bidding.

“No teacher will ever be fired from NYU for giving a student a ‘D,’” Franco countered to reporters in April. “He wasn’t fired, he was asked not to come back after three years because they didn’t think he was a good teacher.”

Franco has turned getting college degrees into something of a hobby and is kind of one of those insufferable overachiever types.

He has a BA in creative writing from the University of California, Los Angeles and an M.F.A in writing from Columbia University. Around the same time Franco received his MFA, he was nominated for an Academy Award for best actor for “127 Hours.”

Franco took filmmaking and directing classes at NYU and writing classes at Brooklyn College, and is currently on the road to a PhD in English literature from Yale University. The actor recently enrolled in the Rhode Island School of Design, and was also accepted into another PhD program in literature at the University of Houston, but decided not to attend.

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