James Franco sexual misconduct case settled

James Franco and two former students at a Los Angeles acting school he founded have settled a lawsuit which accused the star of sexual misconduct.

According to the agreement, Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, who attended Franco's now-defunct Studio 4, have dropped their claims.

The women alleged that the Hollywood actor engaged in "sexually-charged behaviour towards female students".

Franco's lawyers previously described the claims as "false and inflammatory".

BBC News has contacted representatives for Franco to ask if he has any further comment in light of the settlement.

'Not accurate'

The precise terms of the settlement, which was filed on 11 February but not reported until now, are not known. The deal also applies to Franco's production company, Rabbit Bandini, and his two business partners, Vince Jolivette and Jay Davis.

Studio 4 opened in 2014 and closed three years later.

Ms Tither-Kaplan and Ms Gaal said in their original filing in 2019 that Franco tried to "create a pipeline of young women who were subjected to his personal and professional sexual exploitation in the name of education".

He was accused of abusing his position by pushing female students into taking part in sex scenes and "dangling the opportunity for roles" in his films.

The Pineapple Express and 127 Hours actor denied the claims at the time, with his lawyers describing them as "ill-informed".

Tither-Kaplan had previously come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against the actor-director, shortly after he won a Golden Globe Award for his film The Disaster Artist in 2018.

When the allegations first surfaced, Franco said they were "not accurate".

The deal will be submitted for preliminary court approval by 15 March.

Franco is particularly well known for his work with Seth Rogen, including on films such as Sausage Party, The Interview and This Is The End.

He has also directed several films himself, including The Disaster Artist, Sal and Zeroville, which also starred Rogen.

Franco was nominated for best actor at the Oscars in 2011, for his starring role in 127 Hours, which was directed by Danny Boyle.