Just how much constitutes a “huge” sum? For something that James Franco continues to insist he isn’t at fault for, it’s pretty huge. In February, the class-action lawsuit came to a point where everyone involved decided to make a deal. However, the finer points of that deal hadn’t been decided upon at that time and no dollar figure amount was disclosed. Now, according to settlement paperwork released through Deadline, we know that the settlement amount is $2,235,000. However, not all of that money goes to the two actresses who started this suit. The finer details break the money down below. Also of note, at this time, the amount still needs to be approved by a Los Angeles Superior Court Judge before the settlement can be finalized.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal were students at James Franco’s acting school. They are actresses. They filed the class-action suit against James Franco and his partners at the acting school. While they were attending the acting school and trusting their professors, it has been alleged that the actresses were coerced into performing in filmed scenes that increasingly grew more sexual. It was said that the scenes became like an orgy that went far beyond what would be concerned acceptable, normal, or stand on a Hollywood film set, something that the seasoned celebrity would have been well aware of. Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal filed the lawsuit in October of 2019 and were joined by other students at the acting school, Studio 4.
The students have said that many of them were led to believe that by going along with the scenes in class, that not only would they be better performers, but they would have a better shot at roles in films with James Franco. There’s a lot of reasons the students would have believed this, including that they trusted their teachers, and that Franco has a history of working with people he knows. Of course, now that the sexual misconduct allegations have been made public, that’s unfortunate for those who have repeatedly worked with him and become linked to his name.
While James Franco and his partners still claim they are not guilty of wrongdoing, their joint statement acknowledges that the “Plaintiffs have raised important issues.”. As for what will happen with the $2.3 million once the Judge approves the settlement amount, almost $1 million of it will go to the Named Plaintiffs in the suit, meaning Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal. Then, the remaining $1.3 million will go to a Common Fund, where it will be distributed among claims pursued by other members of the class-action suit. Then, any unclaimed funds will go to the National Women’s Law Center.
Because the suit was filed late in 2019, and 2020 saw Hollywood grind to a halt, it’s too early to necessarily say that the sexual misconduct allegations have had a major impact on James Franco’s career. However, right now, he’s not lined up for much. Will this be the last we really hear of the actor? How will Hollywood treat this kind of case at this time? We’ll have to wait a few years to really see.