James Franco allegedly got flirty with a 17-year-old girl via social media this week, reportedly attempting to meet up with her at a hotel room. And now, he is speaking out about the incident.
The 35-year-old actor reportedly began chatting with a 17-year-old Scottish tourist via Instagram after she saw the actor perform on Broadway in “Of Mice and Men.”
According to screengrabs via Gawker, Franco and the girl’s flirting led to a text message conversation, which the girl then posted on Imgur (which has since been deleted). During the alleged exchange, she told the actor she’s “nearly 18” and then, the actor reportedly inquired about meeting up at hotel room.
In the state of New York, the age of consent is 17, therefore Franco did nothing illegal.
On Friday on “Live! with Kelly and Michael,” the actor spoke about the incident, where he expressed his regret and admitted to using bad judgment.
“I’m embarrassed. I guess I’m just a model of how social media’s tricky. It’s a way people meet each other today. But what I’ve learned, I guess because I’m new to it, it’s like you don’t know who’s on the other end. You meet somebody in person and you know you get a feel for them but you don’t know who you’re talking to. So I used bad judgment and… I learned my lesson,” he said.
Adding, “Unfortunately in my position, I mean, I have a very good life, not only do I have to go through the embarrassing rituals of meeting someone, [laughs] sometimes if I do that then it gets published for the world. Now it’s like doubly embarrassing.”
On Wednesday night, he Tweeted, “I’M NOT! I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you.”
I’M NOT! I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you http://t.co/I1d4n3yVe0— James Franco (@JamesFrancoTV) April 2, 2014
In the upcoming movie, “Palo Alto,” the actor plays a character who seduces an underage girl played by Emma Roberts. Many are speculating that the Instagram incident could be a publicity stunt for the upcoming movie.
A rep for Franco was not immediately available for comment when contacted by Access Hollywood on Friday.
-- Jesse Spero