James Franco admitting he slept with students at his acting school is a total sham, designed to make it look like he's apologizing when he really isn't ... at least according to the attorneys who sued him over the sexual misconduct.
Franco seemed to spill his guts during a SiriusXM interview this week, telling Jess Cagle ... "Look I'll admit I did sleep with students. I didn't sleep with anybody in that particular class, but over the course of my teaching I did sleep with students, and that was wrong."
The Jess Cagle Podcast/SiriusXM
It's also BS, if you ask attorneys at 2 different law firms -- Valli Kane & Vagnini, LLP and Hadsell Stormer Renick & Dai, LLP -- which filed lawsuits on behalf of students, including Sarah Tither-Kaplan, who'd attended Studio 4 ... Franco's school.
A rep for the firms tells us, "In addition to being blind about power dynamics, Franco is completely insensitive to, and still apparently does not care about, the immense pain and suffering he put his victims through with this sham of an acting school.
During the interview, Franco denied having any "master plan" to have sex with students -- he claims he had no role in selecting them for his class, and didn't start the school intending to bed his students ... and that's infuriating to women like Tither-Kaplan.
Her lawyers' statement continues, "It is unbelievable that even after agreeing to a settlement he continues to downplay the survivors’ experiences and ignore their pain, despite acknowledging he had no business starting such a school in the first place."
Please follow @hiresurvivors. Apologies are meaningless until active steps towards harm reduction are taken and directed towards survivors specifically. General statements of “sorry” or “I was wrong” or “I love women” etc. do nothing to actually help those who have been harmed.
As for why Franco's coming forward now ... 10 months after he settled the class action lawsuit for $2.2 million, and nearly 4 years after the women first came forward -- the attorneys believe the interview was intentionally timed to avoid making headlines.
Their rep says, "Nobody should confuse this interview with Franco taking accountability for his actions or expressing remorse over what happened. It is a transparent ducking of the real issues released just before a major holiday in hopes that he wouldn’t face any scrutiny over his response.”