James Franco, who has basically been in hiding since multiple women went to reporters to accuse him of years of sexual misconduct, doesn’t have a lot of people in his corner right now. And that’s not surprising. Women in Hollywood have had enough of men who abuse women and get away with it because of their patriarchal power to do so.
One person is in Franco’s corner, and that’s his former costar, Sharon Stone. But there’s a problem — she appears to be quite misinformed about the allegations against him.
On an episode of WTF Podcast with Marc Maron, Stone was asked whether she enjoyed working with Franco.
“I did, and I’m appalled by this thing about him that’s happening where the girlfriend — I don’t know how the girlfriend can say that she’s offended that he asked for a blow job while they’re dating — and now, all of a sudden, he’s a bad guy,” she replied.
Except that’s not at all how the story went. Violet Paley, who accused Franco of pressuring her into performing oral sex, said she initially refused, and he physically pushed her head down. Girlfriend or not, she had the right to refuse him, and that was not consensual. Also, she wasn’t his girlfriend at the time. He had her in his car under the guise of giving her notes on a script she had written, and Paley told reporters she didn’t know how to safely remove herself from the situation when he took his penis out of his pants, so she gave him oral sex. That’s not a relationship. That’s predatory.
Sharon Stone, a woman who claimed in the same interview to have been harassed and mistreated herself, should know as well as any woman that the power structures that allow women to be mistreated are pervasive and toxic. She should know that even men she thinks are good people are capable of doing despicable things. And she should know the details of a situation before commenting on it, especially if her comments include dismissing a victim’s story.