James Franco Says There's A Reason Why He Is Speaking Up About Sex Addiction and Allegations Now

James Franco in the trailer for This is the End
(Image credit: Columbia Pictures)

Earlier this week, James Franco did a bombshell interview with Sirius XM’s Jess Cagle. He spoke out on a variety of topics, including sobriety, sex addiction, sleeping with students while teaching and his current relationship (or lack thereof) with his former working partner Seth Rogen. Amidst those comments, though, he explained the reason he is finally speaking out after 2018 accusations.

In fact, over the past several years, James Franco has been silent about allegations of sexual misconduct at his acting school. The actor was never formally charged with anything, but was embroiled in a lengthy lawsuit that ended earlier in 2021 when Franco and others involved agreed to pay out a little over $2 million. 

It’s been six months since the lawsuit was settled, but the actor says he wanted to speak out now simply because he does not want people who know him or formerly knew him to have to speak for him. This includes his brother Dave Franco and the aforementioned Rogen. He spoke with Jess Cagle about why Seth Rogen spoke out, noting:

I get it. he had to answer for me because I was silent. he had to answer for me. And I don’t want that. So that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today. I just don’t want Seth or my brother [Dave Franco] or anyone to answer for me anymore.

What James Franco is referring to are some comments made by Seth Rogen just before the lawsuit was settled. Back in May of 2021, Rogen was asked about his current relationship with his Freaks and Geeks and Pineapple Express (among other projects) co-star. Rogen said at the time he does not have any plans to work with his former collaborator right now, a fact Franco also confirmed. He’s not the only person who gets asked about this though. James Franco in particular mentioned his brother Dave Franco, a famous actor in his own right. 

Dave Franco’s been asked about his famous brother for much of his career. The two worked together on several projects, and in 2017 said it took a long time for that to happen simply because he didn’t want to ride on his brothers “coattails.” Apparently, this goes the other way as well, as he’s been dealing with the fallout of what happened with his famous brother, as well. 

James Franco didn’t just explain the reason why he was speaking out now, he actually got into detail on a variety of topics and mistakes he feels he made. Noting he went to treatment and got sober, he said that led to an addiction to sex. He also admitted that he slept with students during his tenure at the acting school, where the allegations of misconduct took place, though he said in the interview that at the time he justified the behavior as OK since it was “consensual.” 

Look, I’ll admit I did sleep with students. I didn’t sleep with anyone in that particular class, but over the course of my teaching, I did sleep with students. And that was wrong, but like I said, it’s not why I started the school. 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 I was in a consensual thing with a student and I shouldn’t have been.

James Franco says he didn’t speak out for a long time because he thought it was time “to pause” after the allegations, revealing he didn’t think it was “the right time to say anything.” Meanwhile, his career has somewhat stalled since the allegations came to light. His TV series The Deuce was cancelled after Season 2.  The allegations also led his Oscars hopeful movie The Disaster Artist (also featuring Seth Rogen) to fall out of favor before the Academy Awards that year. Prior to this interview, the actor most recently made headlines for being roped into the legal drama between Johnny Depp and Amber Heard. 

Jessica Rawden
Managing Editor

Jessica Rawden is Managing Editor at CinemaBlend. She’s been kicking out news stories since 2007 and joined the full-time staff in 2014. She oversees news content, hiring and training for the site, and her areas of expertise include theme parks, rom-coms, Hallmark (particularly Christmas movie season), reality TV, celebrity interviews and primetime. She loves a good animated movie. Jessica has a Masters in Library Science degree from Indiana University, and used to be found behind a reference desk most definitely not shushing people. She now uses those skills in researching and tracking down information in very different ways.