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Busy Philipps Claims in Her Book That Former Costar James Franco Assaulted Her

Busy Philipps and James Franco may have played a couple on NBC’s Freaks and Geeks, but the fondness between the two stopped there. In Philipps new memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, she claims Franco was a “fucking bully” who assaulted her on set. Per RadarOnline and as further reported by People magazine, Philipps describes a particularly tense day filming the series, which ran from 1999 to 2000. 

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In the book, Philipps alleges the physical assault occurred while filming the “We’ve Got Spirit” episode of Freaks and Geeks. Philipps and Franco were supposed to shoot a scene in which her character hit Franco in the chest. Only, instead of reacting in a manner outlined by the script, Franco lost his cool. 

Philipps alleges Franco “grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!’” before throwing her to the ground.

While one would hope punitive measures were taken, Philipps insists in her memoir that the response was minimal. Reportedly, executive producer Judd Apatow made Franco watch a video of the incident the following day. 

After seeing it, Franco told Philipps he was sorry — he’d had a bad reaction to his character being treated poorly. That was the extent of it, she says.  

This isn’t the first time Philipps has opened up about the bad blood between herself and Franco. In 2016, during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live with Andy Cohen, she detailed the tense working environment she experienced on the Freaks and Geeks set. 

“James Franco and I really didn’t get along when we were on Freaks and Geeks. We were 19, and we really, really disliked each other — it’s well-documented. He shoved me to the ground once. It was really brutal,” she shared.

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At the time, Philipps stated that she and Franco had since made amends, a claim she essentially bolstered in an interview with The Hollywood Reporter published on Monday. 

“James and I have talked about it over the years. At one point he apologized to me,” she explained, adding, “I was always acutely aware of my expendability, and so I felt I needed to never complain, always show up on time and not be difficult. If someone else was being difficult, it was my job to be the easy one or figure out a way to soothe the situation.” 

Philipps memoir arrives Oct. 16, and her new talk show, Busy Tonight, premieres on E! on Oct. 28. 

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