James Franco Finally Speaks Out Years After Disturbing Allegations

James Franco has been fairly quiet over the last four years, a huge shift from his usual busy stream of overlapping projects, especially when coming off of award recognition for his work on "The Disaster Artist." This followed the allegations concerning Franco's inappropriate and/or sexually exploitive behavior that came to light from five women in 2018, per Los Angeles Times. At the time, Franco denied the allegations, Insider reported.

A sexual misconduct lawsuit for these allegations was settled earlier this year for over $2.2 million, according to BBC News. After several months, Franco spoke quite openly about the allegations and his lengthy silence during an interview with "The Jess Cagle Podcast" on Sirius XM. "In 2018, there were some complaints about me and an article about me and, at that moment I just thought 'I'm gonna be quiet. I'm gonna be, I'm gonna pause.' Did not seem like the right time to say anything," he shared on the podcast (via People).

He continued to explain what was going through his mind at the time. "There were people that were upset with me and I needed to listen," he said. "There's a writer Damon Young and he talked about when something like this happens, the natural human instinct is to just make it stop. You just want to get out in front of it and whatever you have to do apologize, you know, get it done. But what that doesn't do is allow you to do the work to, and to look at what was underneath." During the same podcast conversation, Franco opened up even further about his behavior.

James Franco shares more about his addiction and recovery

There have been many accounts over the years from fellow actors and creators about James Franco's problematic behavior, something that he often ties to his addictive personality, overcoming an alcohol addiction at a young age and then channeling his fixation on work, according to an interview with Out magazine. It was on "The Jess Cagle Podcast," however, where he shared more insight into his sex addiction.

"It's such a powerful drug ... I got hooked on it for 20 more years. The insidious part of that is that I stayed sober from alcohol all that time," Franco said. "And 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."

The interview seems to reveal quite a bit of self-reflection for Franco's behavior, with the actor admitting to sleeping with students at the time of the allegations, making note that they were consensual encounters, but clarifying he was "not clear headed" in making those decisions, per Just Jared. He also speaks about his history of cheating and where he began to feel his behavior spinning out of control. The podcast episode will be available for listeners on December 23.

If you or someone you know is struggling with addiction, please contact the SAMHSA substance abuse and mental health national helpline at 1-800-662-HELP.