Actor James Franco has been a victim of criticism this week for flirting with an underage tourist, but could it be that it was just to promote his new movie?
Franco, 35, was caught flirting with a 17-year-old girl after connecting with her on Instagram. After asking for her number, the two began texting when Franco asked if he should get a hotel room for them to meet in.
Coincidentally, the trailer for Palo Alto, a film adaptation of Franco’s book of short stories, debuted right after the scandal. The movie features Franco starring as a high school soccer coach who seduces a student.
The similarities between Franco’s role and his real-life situation sparked speculations that this could all be some kind of a publicity stunt.
However, Franco admitted on a recent appearance on “Live! With Kelly and Michael” that the incident was just a result of his bad judgment.
“I guess I’m just a model of, you know, how social media is tricky,” he said. “But what I’ve learned I guess just because I’m new to it is like, you don’t know who’s on the other end.”
Franco also admitted that he is “embarrassed” and he has “learned his lesson.”