James Franco Sued By Former NYU Professor For Defamation

Truth rating: 10

By Michael Lewittes


James Franco has been sued by a former New York University professor who claims the actor defamed him after he gave Franco a “D” in his class.

José Angel Santana, who taught a directing class taken by Franco as part of his course of study for a master’s in fine arts degree, filed a wrongful termination lawsuit against NYU last year, alleging that the university had fired him because he gave Franco a bad grade. Now, the ex-professor is going after the movie star for making “disparaging and inaccurate public statements” about him after Santana sued the college, according to the New York Post.

Franco had told reporters the professor was “awful,” saying he skipped 12 of Santana’s 14 directing classes because, “I didn’t feel like I needed to waste my time with a bad teacher.” The 127 Hours star was further quoted as saying, “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.”

In another interview, Franco stated, “He’s not going to win the lawsuit and he’s not going to be hired at another institution.” A rep for New York University had called Santana’s wrongful termination claims “ridiculous,” adding, “It is regrettable and disappointing to see a faculty member—former or otherwise—discuss any student’s grade for the purpose of personal publicity.”

Santana filed the defamation lawsuit against Franco in Manhattan Supreme Court on Tuesday, seeking unspecified damages. Gossip Cop has reached out to a rep for Franco for comment.

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