James Franco’s ex-students sue alleging sexual impropriety

NEW YORK, NY - NOVEMBER 27: Actor James Franco attends IFP's 27th Annual Gotham Independent Film Awards on November 27, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Dimitrios Kambouris/Getty Images for IFP)

LOS ANGELES — Two actresses have sued James Franco and the acting and film school he founded, saying the actor intimidated his students into gratuitous and exploitative sexual situations.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, former students at Franco’s now-closed Studio 4, filed the lawsuit Thursday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

Their lawsuit says Franco pushed his students into performing in increasingly explicit sex scenes on camera in an “orgy type setting.” The women say roles in Franco’s films would be dangled to those who went along.

Tither-Kaplan spoke of her experience with Franco previously with the Los Angeles Times, on “Good Morning America” and on Twitter. Gaal is coming forward for the first time.

Franco’s publicist did not immediately respond to an email seeking comment. He has previously called similar allegations inaccurate.

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