In 2014, James Franco opened Studio4, an acting school in Los Angeles and New York. For the price of $300 a month, students would get acting lessons from Franco and others. According to two former students, acting classes weren’t the only thing Franco was offering.
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal allege in a class action complaint that Franco and his business partner, Vince Jolivette, used Studio4 to sexually exploit young women.
The suit alleges that Franco and Jolivette would sexually intimidate women and that women who were willing to disrobe in front of the two were given special treatment.
“As Plaintiffs experienced and observed, Studio 4 served no other legitimate purposes other than to dupe unsuspecting and often very young ‘students’ out of their money and talent to serve Defendants’ financial and exploitative desires,”
As part of the school’s offering, Franco taught a “master class” on sex scenes. According to the complaint, students would have to audition to get into the master class in a taped audition. Students would then also have to perform sexual activities that were “beyond industry norm”.