After two decades of close collaboration in Hollywood, James Franco and Seth Rogen have publicly parted ways. All of this derives from claims of sexual misbehavior against Franco, about which he has mostly remained silent in public.
In a snippet released online, Franco explains how he considered Rogen his closest work friend and still has a lot of love for him. Franco will be telling his side of the story from beginning to end in a lengthy interview for The Jess Cagle Show on Thursday, and in a snippet released online, Franco explains how he considered Rogen his closest work friend and still has a lot of love for him.
“He was asked about me, and I just wanna say I absolutely love Seth Rogen. I guess I’m going to talk about it because a lot of people come up to me. I love Seth Rogen. I worked with him for 20 years. We didn’t have one fight for 20 years. Not one fight. He was my absolute closest work friend, collaborator. We just gelled.”
In October 2019, two women filed a civil suit against the ‘Pineapple Express’ star, accusing him of exploiting aspiring actors at his now-defunct school and duping young women into shooting explicit sex scenes. Franco said he developed a sex addiction after he became sober from an alcohol addiction he developed at a young age.
In the aftermath of the charges levied against his Pineapple Express co-star, Rogen initially stood by him. Rogen had even made a joke about it when hosting Saturday Night Live, which sparked anger against him. Rogen then changed his mind, and walked back his supportive stance of Franco and began saying that he will no longer be working with his old pal on any future film ventures. Franco confirms this, and while he acknowledges that it has been “hurtful,” he also acknowledges that he fully comprehends the situation.
“What he said is true, you know, we aren’t working together right now and we don’t have any plans to work together. Of course, it was hurtful, in context, but I get it. He had to answer for me ’cause I was silent. He had to answer for me, and I don’t want that. So that’s why, that’s one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today: I don’t want Seth or my brother or anyone to have to answer for me anymore.”
Franco does admit in his new interview that he’s struggled with sex addiction. He also admits that he “did sleep with students and that was wrong,” something he says he justified at the time because the relationships were consensual.
“I suppose at the time, my thinking was if it’s consensual, OK. Of course I knew, you know, talking to other people, other teachers or whatever, like, yeah, it’s probably not a cool thing. At the time I was not clearheaded, as I’ve said. So I guess my, I guess it just comes down to my criteria was like, if this is consensual, like, I think it’s cool. We’re all adults, so…”
Franco agreed this year to pay $2.2 million to settle the 2019 civil lawsuit, according to documents filed in Los Angeles Superior Court.