Actor and director James Franco responded to allegations that he engaged in sexual misconduct in an interview Wednesday on SiriusXM, admitting that he had sex with some of his students.
The allegations were made against Franco in 2018, with five women accusing him of “inappropriate or sexually exploitative behavior,” reported the Los Angeles Times. In the interview with podcast host Jess Cagle, Franco said he hesitated to address the allegations in 2018 because “it didn’t seem like the right time to say anything.”
“Look, I’ll admit I did sleep with students. I didn’t sleep with anybody in [my ‘Sex Scenes’ class], but, over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students and that was wrong,” Franco explained.
“But like I said, I, it’s not why I started the school and I, I didn’t, I wasn’t the person that selected the people to be in the class. 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, with a student and I shouldn’t have been.”
“There’s a writer, Damon Young, and he talked about, you know, when something like this happens, like the natural human instinct is to just make it stop. You just want to get out in front of it and do whatever you have to do, apologize, you know get it done, but what that doesn’t do is allow you to do the work and look at what was underneath,” Franco said.
He also added that there’s “probably an iceberg underneath of behavior, patterning, underneath that isn’t just going to be solved,” noting how he’s been “doing a lot of work” on himself.
In addition to responding to the allegations, Franco shared that he’d been in “recovery” for addiction and used that to address and change other issues in his life. In being honest about his struggles with alcoholism, Franco said he used success, attention, and later sex to fill the void that came with his sobriety.
Calling sex a “powerful drug,” Franco noted how this form of addiction made him “completely blind to power dynamics and to people’s feelings.”
“The behavior spun out to a point where I was hurting everybody,” Franco said. (RELATED: Someone Wrote ‘Douche’ On James Franco’s Hollywood Walk Of Fame Star)
Franco told Cagle he has been dating actress Isabel Pakzad for the last four years.