Two women who attended James Franco’s film and acting school, Studio 4, have reportedly filed a lawsuit against the actor and his partners, saying that the school was an environment of “harassment and sexual exploitation both in and out of the class.”
The lawsuit was filed by Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, according to the New York Times. Tither-Kaplan previously spoke with The Los Angeles Times about her experiences at the now shuttered Studio 4, including filming a sex scene with Franco in which he allegedly removed protective coverings from actresses’ genitals, among other incidents.
According to the Times, the lawsuit claims that students were pressured to engage in “simulated sex acts” without the comfort of nudity riders. When Gaal spoke up about how a sex-scenes class was being run, she says she was not accepted into the class, and that students were asked to sign away the rights to video recordings of simulated sex scenes. The lawsuit states that “often young and inexperienced females” were preyed upon to engage in simulated sex acts that “went far beyond the standards in the industry.”
The lawsuit seeks monetary damages and the return or destruction of videos made during classes.