James Franco treated for sex addiction, admitting he slept with his acting students

Oscar-nominated actor James Franco, who was at the centre of #MeToo allegations in 2018, has admitted he has been treated for sex addiction since 2016.

Franco, 43, was accused of sexually exploitative behaviour by five women, of whom four were his acting students.

The allegations were the subject of a lawsuit in 2019, which Franco settled in June with the actor paying $2.2 million (£1.7m).

Interviewed on SiriusXM’s The Jess Cagle Show podcast, the actor admitted he did sleep with students who attended his now defunct acting school.

In the interview, he said he had been treated for alcohol addiction at the age of 17.

Having successfully stayed sober, his addictive behaviour continued but involved sex rather than alcohol, Franco said.

“I got hooked on it for 20 more years. The insidious part of that is that I stayed sober from alcohol all that time,” he said.

“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.”

“Along the road of trying to get success and climb the top of that mountain, attention from women, success with women also became a huge source of validation for me.

“The problem with that is … like any sort of drug or anything, there’s never enough. It was never-ending.”

Franco, the star and director of The Disaster Artist, denied the #MeToo allegations when they first surfaced.

It was alleged in the 2019 lawsuit filed by former students Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal that Franco – who offered a “sex scenes master class” – and his business partners “engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behaviour”.

Franco said he did not sleep with any of the students attending the sex scenes classes.

He added: “But, over the course of my teaching, 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.

“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.”

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