Sharon Stone doesn’t believe all of the sexual misconduct claims against James Franco. The actress, who appears in a small role in Franco’s “The Disaster Artist,” was a guest on Marc Maron’s “WTF” podcast and said she is “appalled” by the allegations against her director. Franco was accused in January of sexual misconduct by five of his former acting students.
“I’m appalled with what’s happening with [Franco],” Stone said. “Where the girlfriend can say that she’s offended that he asked [her to perform oral sex], while they’re dating and now all of a sudden, he’s a bad guy.”
Stone is referring to Violet Paley, who accused Franco of forcing her to perform oral sex on him in a parked car in 2016. Franco and Paley were in a consensual romantic relationship at the time. Paley alleges the couple had never engaged in oral sex prior to the moment in the car.
“I got to say I worked with him, I know him, he’s the loveliest, kindest, sweetest, most elegant, nicest man,” Stone continued. “Most kind friend, lovely professional. I’m absolutely appalled by this.”
Stone went on to explain how there’s a difference between sexual harassment and “stupid” inappropriate behavior. The actress explained: “You go out with them, they bring you home for a good-night kiss and they grab your hand and put it on their penis. I don’t think they’re trying to sexually harass me, I think they’re just incredibly stupid and awkward.”
In these instances, Stone said that women should not accuse men of harassment and instead should say, “Please don’t ever call me again because you’re too stupid to date.”
The actress has been a supporter of the #MeToo movement for months and told “CBS Sunday This Morning” earlier this year that she had experienced sexual harassment herself as an actress in the past.
“I’ve been in this business for 40 years, Lee,” Stone said. “Can you imagine the business I stepped into 40 years ago? Looking like I look, from nowhere, Pennsylvania? I didn’t come here with any protection. I’ve seen it all.”
In addition to “The Disaster Artist,” Shone was recently featured more prominently in Steven Soderbergh’s HBO limited series “Mosaic.”