James Franco's high from his best actor win at the Golden Globes has likely worn off with the possible Oscar contender now facing a barrage of sexual misconduct claims. In the Los Angeles Times, five women—including two who previously spoke out on Twitter—accuse Franco of inappropriate conduct, particularly involving nude scenes. Sarah Tither-Kaplan, a former acting student of Franco, says he exploited students who agreed to appear nude on camera, in one case removing clear plastic covers protecting their genitalia while simulating oral sex. Other students describe him promising students acting roles that turned out to involve nudity, becoming irate when no actresses volunteered to appear topless, and punishing those who balked. Actress Violet Paley also says Franco pressured her into performing oral sex before beginning a romantic relationship.
The claims—which Franco's lawyer denies—follow those made on Twitter during Sunday's Golden Globes. Paley, for example, also accused Franco of inviting her 17-year-old friend to his hotel room, in an apparent echo of a 2014 encounter. Ally Sheedy, whom Franco directed in a 2014 play, also targeted the actor in a series of since-deleted tweets, one of which read, "James Franco just won. Please never ever ask me why I left the film/tv business." Like Stephen Colbert a day before, Seth Meyers asked Franco about the allegations on Late Night Wednesday. "The [tweets] I read were not accurate" and "I have my own side of this story," but "this is a conversation that needs to be had," Franco said, per the Hollywood Reporter. "I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say." (Read more James Franco stories.)