has agreed to pay more than $2.2 million to settle a class-action lawsuit
alleging that the actor coerced students at his now-defunct acting school into engaging in exploitative sexual situations.
The lawsuit was led by actors
Sarah Tither-Kaplan and Toni Gaal, both former students of Franco's Studio 4
film school. Tither-Kaplan and Gaal first sued Franco in 2019, alleging that the actor and his male collaborators "engaged in widespread inappropriate and sexually charged behavior towards female students," including pushing them to participate in sexually exploitative audits.
Franco and his former students reached an agreement in February, but the details were not made public until Wednesday, according to The Hollywood
Reporter, which broke the story first.
Tither-Kaplan will receive $670,500 ($223,500 of which will go to lawyers), while Gaal will receive $223,500 (minus $74,500 in lawyer fees), with the remainder going toward additional attorney fees and the other students in the class-action suit. Any unclaimed money
will reportedly be donated to the National Women
's Law Center.
According to the Reporter, Franco has also agreed to “non-economic” terms for the individual plaintiffs, but these have not been made public.
The settlement also included a statement acknowledging "mistreatment of women in Hollywood."
“While Defendants continue to deny the allegations in the Complaint,” the statement said, “they acknowledge that Plaintiffs have raised important issues; and all parties strongly believe that now is a critical time to focus on addressing the mistreatment of women in Hollywood.”
In 2014, the “Pineapple Express” actor, then 35, admitted on Instagram
to hitting on a 17-year-old girl and asking to meet her in a hotel room. Five women, including Tither-Kaplan, accused Franco of inappropriate behavior in a 2018 Los Angeles
Franco's multimillion-dollar settlement was announced on the same day that actor Bill Cosby
. On Wednesday, Pennsylvania
's Supreme Court
overturned the actor and comedian
's sexual assault
conviction, allowing him to walk free after serving less than three years of a three-to-ten-year sentence. Sixty women have accused Cosby of sexual misconduct