James Franco Addresses 17-Year-Old Hookup Scandal: I'm Embarrassed
By Antoinette Bueno
James Franco appeared on Live! With Kelly and Michael Friday, and addressed the allegations that he tried to initiate a hotel hookup with 17-year-old Scottish student Lucy Clode,who met him at his Broadway show Of Mice and Men in New York City.
Photos and screencaps of their alleged conversation hit the Internet Wednesday, with Franco allegedly asking Clode if she had a boyfriend, and apparently sending her a picture of himself holding up a sign with her name on it, to prove that it was really him.
He addressed the scandal head-on Friday, not wanting his appearance to be "awkward."
"I didn't want to come on the show and just … feel awkward. I mean I guess, you know, I'm embarrassed, and I guess I'm just a model of how, you know, how social media is tricky," the 35-year-old actor said. "It's a way people meet each other today. But, what I've learned I guess just because I'm new to it is like, you don't know who's on the other end. You meet somebody in person and you get a feel for them but you don't know who you're talking to, and, you know? So I used bad judgment. I learned my lesson."
"But unfortunately in my position, I mean...I have a very good life, but not only do I have to go through the embarrassing kind of rituals of kind of meeting someone, sometimes if I do that, then it gets, you know, published for the world so now, you know, it's like doubly embarrassing," he added.
Host Kelly Ripa let Franco off the hook, praising his candor.
"Well I think the way you came out here and handled it is perfectly acceptable. It happens to everybody," she said. "And I think it happens to movie stars on a much grander scale, like you just said, because everybody knows who you are."
Some have speculated that the Instagram scandal is a hoax to promote the actor's new film Palo Alto, in which he plays a teacher seducing a student.