Busy Philipps' haunting story about James Franco on the set of Freaks and Geeks.

Busy Philipps was 20 when she was cast in her first major role as Kim Kelly on Freaks and Geeks.

The role would be the one that launched her TV and film career, as well as the careers of several of her co-stars, including Jason Segel, Linda Cardellini, Seth Rogan and James Franco.

But it would also be one where she learned a hard lesson about Hollywood.

In Philipps’ upcoming memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, to be released on October 18, she alleges that she was assaulted by James Franco on set.

In an excerpt of the book leaked by Radar Online, Philipps writes that she was filming a scene with Franco, when she was directed to gently hit him in the chest while delivering her line. When she did so, however, he suddenly broke character.

“He grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!’” she wrote. “And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me.”

The directive had not been included in the script, and Philipps assumed Franco had been caught off guard. He angrily stormed off, and the crew gathered to help Philipps.

The now 39-year-old remembers crying to her co-star Linda Cardellini, who told her she needed to report the incident to her manager.


Franco, now 40, apologised to Philipps the following day, after being instructed to do so by the director and producers.

She writes in her memoir, however, that he continued to be a “f***ing bully” throughout their time on the show.

In January this year, while attending the Golden Globes, Franco wore a ‘Time’s Up’ pin on the left lapel of his suit – an act many criticised in light of his past behaviour.

In the wake of his demonstration, five women came out to publicly accuse him of sexual harassment and exploitation.

“I got it in my head pretty quickly that, okay, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” aspiring actress and filmmaker Sarah Tither-Kaplan, 26, told the Los Angeles Times

She is a former acting student at the school Franco founded, Studio 4. She said during filming in Franco’s Sex Scenes class, she appeared topless and later discovered the video had been uploaded to the video-sharing platform Vimeo. From there, she discovered her image had been shared to porn sites.

“I feel there was an abuse of power, and there was a culture of exploiting non-celebrity women, and a culture of women being replaceable,” Tither-Kaplan told The Times.

James Franco
James Franco at the 24th Annual Screen Actors Guild Awards in 2018. Image via Getty.

In 2015, Franco asked Tither-Kaplan to play a prostitute in his film The Long Home. In May that year, Tither-Kaplan claims, the producer organised an orgy scene in which she was to appear fully nude in the background.

As reported by journalists Daniel Miller and Amy Kaufman:

A handful of other women were selected to appear with Franco, who simulated performing oral sex on each of them, Tither-Kaplan said. But in each case, she said he removed a clear plastic guard that covered their vaginas — and continued to simulate the sex act with no protection.

Then, Tither-Kaplan said, she and her female co-stars were asked to appear topless in an unscripted scene and dance around Franco while wearing animal skulls atop their heads. One actress who balked was sent home the next day, Tither-Kaplan said.

Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel, who took acting classes with Franco in 2012 at Playhouse West, said that after agreeing to shoot a jeans commercial for the actor, things turned sour.

As they stood on stage in their underwear and masks, Franco allegedly approached the actresses asking "So who wants to take their shirt off?" The women say that when no one obliged, he stormed off in anger.

"I felt like I was selected for something based on my hard work and my merit, and when I realised it was because I have nice [breasts], it was pretty clear that was not the case," Dusome told the publication.


Finally 23-year-old Violet Paley, who met Franco in 2016 when he offered to help her with her script writing, claims Franco forced her to perform oral sex on him one evening in a car.

Her story, she says, is complicated by the fact she and The Disaster Artist actor were beginning a romantic relationship at the time of his alleged offence.

"I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out," said Paley. "I got really nervous, and I said, ‘Can we do this later?’ He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it."

Feeling uncomfortable, Paley said she stopped the act by lying and saying she heard someone near the car. "The power dynamic was way off," she told The Times.

Earlier this year, Franco told CBS' The Late Show that the allegations were inaccurate.

"If there's restitution to be made, I will make it," he told the show's host Stephen Colbert. "I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done."

"The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate, but I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn't have a voice for so long, so I don't want to shut them down in any way. I think that it's a good thing and I support it."