James Franco Sued for Defamation by Former Professor

james francoThe End of the World is coming for actor James Franco. Well, not really. He’s just reportedly facing a lawsuit. Franco was slammed with a defamation lawsuit Tuesday in New York City by his former NYU film professor, who says that the actor spoke poorly about him after Franco received a “D” for skipping class.

The plaintiff José Angel Santana’s attorney Matthew Blit tells Hollywood.com, “The suit was filed to prevent Mr. Franco from further defaming Dr. Santana as well as to obtain monetary damages that Mr. Franco’s caused by his latest public remarks.”

“Whoever was in Clint Eastwood’s chair at the Republican National Convention was more present than Mr. Franco was in my classes,” Santana said to the New York Post. He called Franco a “bully,” adding, “He uses the bully pulpit of his celebrity to punish anyone who doesn’t do his bidding.”

According to the report, Santana is asking for an unspecified amount of money, claiming that Franco made “disparaging and inaccurate public statements.”

“I didn’t deserve to be on the receiving end of those falsehoods,” said Santana, who was fired in September 2011. “I was outraged that someone with his attendance record at NYU had the audacity to make those statements.”

After Santana was let go by the university, Franco told reporters, “I didn’t feel like I needed to waste my time with a bad teacher. No teacher will ever be fired from NYU for giving a student a ‘D.’ He wasn’t fired, he was asked not to come back after three years because they didn’t think he was a good teacher.” Franco added in another interview, “He is not going to be hired at another institution.”

Santana is now claiming that Franco defamed him despite the fact that the actor allegedly had access to Santana’s “overwhelmingly positive student evaluations.”

Hollywood.com has yet to hear back from Franco’s rep.

Follow Lindsey on Twitter @LDiMat.


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