Busy Philipps Alleges James Franco Assaulted Her On The Set Of ‘Freaks and Geeks’

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Busy Philipps has a new memoir, entitled This Will Only Hurt a Little, out on October 16, and in the actress doesn’t hold back. Specifically, according to Radar, Philipps — who also has a late night talk show, Busy Tonight, debuting on E! in late October — calls out by name the men who have harmed her over the years. That includes her former Freaks and Geeks co-worker James Franco.

The two starred on the cult show, which ran for only one season from 1999 to 2000 but has lived on as one of the era’s most beloved programs. Philipps and Franco played Kim Kelly and Daniel Desario, fellow “freaks” who were — at least at times — a couple. In real life, however, the two actors did not get along. In her memoir, Philipps calls him a “f*cking bully” and alleges that he once shoved her to the ground in a rage.

One scene called for Philipps to gently hit Franco. Franco, she claimed, broke character and attacked her. “He grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!’” she writes in the book. “And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me.”

Philipps consulted with her costar Linda Cardellini; she advised that Philipps talk to her manager. The next day, Franco — as instructed by the producers and the episode’s director — apologized to her. He was, however, never formally punished for his actions.

According to The Hollywood Reporter, Philipps has been outspoken about her and Franco’s checkered past. She even told this story in 2016, during an appearance on Watch What Happens Live.

“When we were 19, we were on Freaks and Geeks and we really, really disliked each other. It’s well-documented,” Philipps said at the time. “He, like, shoved me to the ground once. It was really brutal. But we’re friends now and we really like each other now as adults.”

Philipps’ story re-enters the cultural conversation less than a year after Franco was accused by at least five women of sexual misconduct, all of which he has called untrue.

Elsewhere in Philipps’ memoir, she claims she was sexually assaulted at age 14 by a 17-year-old from her Arizona high school in the back of his car. The incident left her bloodied and bruised. She didn’t tell anyone what happened, while her alleged assailant spread rumors about her at school, leading her to cut herself and seek group therapy for troubled teens.

Philipps told her story last week in the wake of the hearings for now-Supreme Court Justice Brett Kavanaugh, who has been accused of sexual misconduct as a teen by multiple women. After the testimony by Dr. Christine Blasey Ford on September 27, Philipps took to Instagram to share her story and show her support.


“This is me at 14. The age I was raped,” Philipps wrote in the post. “It’s taken me 25 years to say those words. I wrote about it in my book. I finally told my parents and sister about it 4 months ago. Today is the day we’re silent no more. All of us. I’m scared to post this. I can’t imagine what Dr. Ford is feeling right now.”

(Via Radar and THR)