Veteran actress Sharon Stone defended actor James Franco over claims of sexual misconduct, describing him as the “loveliest, kindest” man who has not had an adequate opportunity to defend himself.
Stone, who worked with Franco on the film The Disaster Artist, told Marc Maron on the WTF podcast that she was “appalled” by the allegations and expressed her concern with misconduct accusations that lead to public opinion trials without due process.
“I’m appalled by this thing about him that is happening. Now all of a sudden he’s a bad guy? I worked with him, I know him,” Stone said. “He’s the loveliest, kindest, sweetest, elegant, nicest man. He’s a kind friend, lovely professional. I’m absolutely appalled by this.”
“You go out with them, they bring you home for a goodnight kiss and they grab your hand and put it on their penis. A 50-year-old man,” she said. “I don’t think they’re trying to sexually harass me, I think they’re just incredibly stupid and awkward. Like, really? That’s your move? Please don’t ever call me again, because you’re too stupid to date. I don’t think I should ruin your whole life over that, but I just think you’re incredibly stupid.”
“I don’t feel like these trials without due process are entirely appropriate,” she continued. “I feel that it’s appropriate that people have to take responsibility for the actions, but I do feel that some due process is in order. There’s a range of activities. And you can’t charge somebody with a felony over a misdemeanor.”
Franco, 39, was accused in January of “inappropriate” and “sexually exploitative” behavior by five women, which included claims he made actresses remove plastic guards covering their genitals while he simulated oral sex, as well as becoming angry after actresses refused to perform topless.
Addressing the allegations on Late Night with Stephen Colbert, Franco maintained his belief that the allegations were inaccurate and reiterated his support for the #MeToo movement that has recently swept Hollywood.
“In my life, I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I’ve done,” he said. “I have to do that to maintain my well-being… I do it whenever I know that there’s something wrong or needs to be changed. I make it a point to do it.”
“The things that I heard 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,” Franco continued. “So I don’t want to shut them down in any way. I think it’s a good thing and I support it.”
In January, Vanity Fair scrubbed Franco from the cover of a Hollywood issue in wake of the allegations, although unlike other stars accused, including actor Kevin Spacey, no major Franco projects have been canceled.
Franco is one of over a hundred figures from the entertainment industry accused of sexual misconduct in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal. Other major figures include Dustin Hoffman, Brett Ratner, and CK Louis.