'Bully' Franco Sued by Prof Who Gave Him a D

Jose Angel Santana accuses actor of defamation
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 6, 2012 9:56 AM CDT
Actor James Franco poses during the photo call of the movie 'Spring Breakers' at the 69th edition of the Venice Film Festival in Venice, Italy, Wednesday, Sept. 5, 2012.   (AP Photo/Andrew Medichini)

(Newser) – As if it wasn't embarrassing enough for James Franco to get a D in acting class, now the actor is getting sued for defamation over the debacle, too. It seems that after former NYU professor José Angel Santana handed out said D—and then claimed he was fired from the university over it—Franco made "disparaging and inaccurate public statements" against Santana, says the professor, who calls Franco "a bully."

The New York Post rounds up some of those statements: Franco once called Santana "awful" and "a bad teacher," and said that the actual reason he was not asked back to the university was poor performance. But Santana disputes all that, and talks some trash about Franco—who he says missed 12 of his 14 classes—in the process: "Whoever was in Clint Eastwood’s chair at the Republican National Convention was more present than Mr. Franco was in my classes."

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