James Franco Admits To Sex Addiction As He Breaks Silence On Sexual Misconduct Claims

In a new interview, James Franco revealed why he's stayed silent since being accused of sexual misconduct in 2018. He also spoke about his sex addiction and admitted he slept with some of his former acting students.

After nearly four years of silence, James Franco, 43, finally addressed his sexual misconduct scandal in an interview on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Podcast, some of which was released on Wednesday, December 22. “In 2018 there were some complaints about me and an article about me and at that moment I just thought, ‘I’m gonna be quietI’m gonna pause,’ ” the actor explained, marking the first time he’s directly addressed the LA Times article from January 2018, in which four of his former acting students accused him of inappropriate sexual behavior. “There were people that were upset with me and I needed to listen,” he added.

James Franco
James Franco (Photo: Jordan Strauss/Invision/AP/Shutterstock)

James denied those allegations when they first came out. In 2019, two of James’ former students filed a sexual misconduct lawsuit against the actor. It was reportedly settled this past summer for $2.2 million. James admitted to Jess Cagle that he had “consensual” sex with students at his acting school Playhouse West Studio 4, which opened in 2014 and closed three years later. “I did sleep with students, and that was wrong. But like I said, it’s not why I started the school and I wasn’t the person that selected the people to be in the class,” he explained. “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.”

The Eat, Pray, Love star also clarified why he waited so long to speak out about these allegations. “There’s a writer, Damon Young, and he talked about when something like this happens, the natural human instinct is to just make it stop. You just want to get out in front of it and whatever you have to do apologize, you know, get it done. But what that doesn’t do is allow you to do the work to, and to look at what was underneath. Whatever you did, even if it was a gaff or you said something wrong or whatever, there’s probably an iceberg underneath that behavior, of patterning, of just being blind to yourself that isn’t gonna just be solved overnight.”

James Franco
James Franco (Photo: Stephen Lovekin/Shutterstock)

Also in the interview, James revealed that after years of getting sober from alcohol, he developed a sex addiction. “It’s such a powerful drug,” he explained. “I got hooked on it for 20 more years. The insidious part of that is that I stayed sober from alcohol all that time. And I went to meetings all that time. I even tried to sponsor other people. So in my head, it was like, ‘Oh, I’m sober. I’m living a spiritual life.’ Where on the side, I’m acting out now in all these other ways, and I couldn’t see it.”

Speaking more about his sex addiction, James said that he “cheated on everyone” and couldn’t “be faithful to anybody” — that is until he started dating current girlfriend Isabel Pakzad. He also explained how he was “completely blind to power dynamics” and “people’s feelings” throughout his sexual encounters. “I didn’t want to hurt people. In fact, I wasn’t really a one-night-stand guy,” James said. “People that I got together with or dated, I’d see them for a long time, years. It’s just that I couldn’t be present for any of them. And the behavior spun out to a point where it was like I was hurting everybody.”

James’ full interview on The Jess Cagle Show will be out on Thursday, December 23.

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