James Franco Breaks Silence On Sexual Misconduct Allegations After 4 Years, Blames Addiction & Being 'Completely Blind To Power Dynamics'
For the first time in four years, when sexual misconduct allegations against James Franco first came to light, the 43-year-old actor is speaking out about his past behavior and offering insight into what may have been lying underneath.
RadarOnline.com obtained a portion of the transcript of Franco's interview on SiriusXM's The Jess Cagle Podcast – which won't debut in full until Thursday – during which he explained how his various addictions to alcohol and sex played a role in how he operated.
While Franco did not go into detail about the specifics of the claims against him, he did admit that he was "completely blind to power dynamics" as well as to "people's feelings."
As for why he waited so long to address the allegations publicly, he insisted he needed time to absorb, process, learn and grow.
As for why he chose to speak now, he said Seth Rogen's public distancing made him realize he doesn't want anyone to have to speak on his behalf.
"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 pause. Did not seem like the right time to say anything," Franco told Cagle. "There were people that were upset with me, and I needed to listen."
The actor went on to reference a writer from whom he claims he learned the following: "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 [to] apologize, you know, get it done. But what that doesn't do is allow you to do the work and to look at what was underneath, like, whatever you did, even if it was a gaff or you said something wrong or whatever, there's probably an iceberg underneath that, of behavior, of patterning, of just being blind to yourself that isn't gonna just be solved overnight."
Since 2018, Franco said he's "been doing a lot of work" and is "pretty confident" he did it properly this time around.
"I was in recovery before, you know, for substance abuse. And there were some issues that I had to deal with that were also related to addiction," he explained. "And so I've really used my recovery background to kind of start examining this and, and changing who I was."
The actor revealed that he got sober from his "substance abuse" but was still consistently cheating on the women he was dating. He said his sponsor explained to him that the infidelity was "dishonest" and therefore "not good" for his sobriety. That's when he decided to be single and later realized he had an addiction to sex.
Franco said he's been in recovery for sex addiction, which he called "a powerful drug," since 2016.
"I stayed sober from alcohol all that time. ... And 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," he said.
He recalled his "happily married" sponsor telling him, "Look, the cheating is dishonest. I don't think that's good for your sobriety, but if you're not dating someone and you wanna go and hook up, like, whatever happens between two consenting adults is fine."
Franco said he "took that and I ran with it and used it as an excuse to just hook up all over the place."
He admitted to being "completely blind to power dynamics but also completely blind to people's feelings," insisting he "didn't wanna hurt people." Interestingly enough, though, he noted that he "wasn't really a one-night-stand guy."
"People that I got together with or dated, like I'd see them for a long time, years. It's just that I couldn't be present for any of them," he explained. "And the behavior spun out to a point where it was like I was hurting everybody."
Franco admitted that hearing Rogen say the pals/creative collaborators had no plans to work together was hurtful but also served as an awakening.
"He was asked about me. And I just wanna say, I absolutely love Seth Rogen," said Franco. "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," he went on, "and 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, you know, in context, but I get it, you know, he had to answer for me 'cause I was silent," the actor added. "He had to answer for me, and I don't want that. And so that's why it's one of the main reasons I wanted to talk to you today is I just, I don't want Seth or my brother or anyone to have to answer for me anymore."