A passage has leaked from Busy Philipps’s forthcoming memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, which details an alleged assault by James Franco, first published by Radar. In it, Philipps describes her Freaks and Geeks co-star as a “fucking bully” who became violent after a particular scene in 1999. While filming, Philipps’s character Kim Kelly gently hits Franco’s character, Daniel Desario, which apparently outraged the actor. Phillips writes:
“He grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN! And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me.”
The next day he apologized, she claims, but he was never punished for the attack.
It’s certainly harrowing, and it’s something Philipps has been talking about for years. In 2016, for example, while visiting Andy Cohen’s Watch What Happens Live, Cohen asked her, “Who is the most difficult celebrity you’ve ever worked with?” Phillips answered that it was Franco. “Well, at the time, but we’ve since made amends, James Franco and I really didn’t get along,” she replied. “When we were 19, we were on Freaks and Geeks and we really, really disliked each other. It’s well-documented. He, like, shoved me to the ground once. It was really brutal. But we’re friends now and we really like each other now as adults.”
There’s an uncomfortable laughter to her explanation of the event, which you can watch below:
James Franco, meanwhile, continues to deny the five sexual misconduct allegations against him.