James Franco has spoken about his fractured friendship with former Hollywood pal Seth Rogen in a candid interview on his own struggle with sex addiction.
The Disaster Artist actor, 43, addressed the sexual misconduct allegations made against him in 2018 and opened up about how Rogen, 39, distanced himself from Franco professionally after 20 years of collaboration.
Rogen — who had worked with Franco on films such as Pineapple express and The Interview — stopped working with the actor when allegations surfaced he had been sexually inappropriate with multiple women, including students at his former acting school.
Speaking about his old friend, Franco said it was “hurtful” to see his working relationship with Rogen vanish following the allegations.
“He was asked about me, and I just wanna say I absolutely love Seth Rogen… I love Seth Rogen,” Franco told The Jess Cagle Podcast.
“I worked with him for 20 years. We didn’t have one fight for 20 years. Not one fight. He was my absolute closest work friend, collaborator. We just gelled.”
“What he said is true, you know, we aren’t working together right now and we don’t have any plans to work together,” Franco added.
“Of course, it was hurtful, in context, but I get it. He had to answer for me ’cause I was silent. He had to answer for me, and I don’t want that. So that’s why, that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today: I don’t want Seth or my brother or anyone to have to answer for me anymore.”
In May this year, Rogen told The Sunday Times he had no intention of working with Franco and condemned abuse and harassment.
“What I can say is that I despise abuse and harassment and I would never cover or conceal the actions of someone doing it, or knowingly put someone in a situation where they were around someone like that,” he said. “The truth is that I have not and I do not plan to [work with Franco] right now.”
Five women accused Franco of sexually inappropriate behaviour, including four of his acting students, in a bombshell article published by The Los Angeles Times in 2018.
One of the alleged victims, Sarah Tither-Kaplan, told Good Morning America that Franco “abused his power by exploiting the non-celebrity women that he worked with under the guise of giving them opportunities”.
Franco reportedly reached a deal with Tither-Kaplan and another woman, Toni Gaal, after they filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against the actor in 2019.
Franco signed off on US$2,235,000 (approx. $2,980,000) to settle an October 2019 lawsuit alleging he and his associates coerced students into performing explicit sex scenes on camera.
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