James Franco's Odd Short Story About Lindsay Lohan

James Franco and Lindsay Lohan (Getty Images/FilmMagic)
James Franco and Lindsay Lohan (Getty Images/FilmMagic)

James Franco never had sex with Lindsay Lohan, got that?

The actor and writer simply read J.D. Salinger to her — or, that is, some version of him read the words of the revered writer to some version of her.

Franco, 36, has denied that he slept with Lohan for months, ever since his name was among those found on a list of her alleged sexual conquests leaked in March. Lohan herself appeared to confirm the list when she said on her OWN show that it had been created to fulfill one of her steps in rehab and that someone probably snapped a photo of it when she was in the process of moving.

[Related: James Franco Posts and Deletes Racy Selfie]

Now, the Palo Alto star is using a more creative way to dispute a hookup with the actress. In a story that Franco penned for Vice magazine's new fiction issue, called Bungalow 89, he writes about his character hiding out from a character named Lindsay.

My phone rang. She let it ring until I answered.

"You're not going to let me sleep, are you?"

"Do you think this is me? Lindsay Lohan. Say it. Say it, like you have ownership. It's not my name anymore."

"Lindsay Lo-han."

"I just want to sleep on your couch. I'm lonely."

"We're not going to have sex. If you want to come in, I'll read you a story."

"A bedtime story?"

"It's called 'A Perfect Day for Bananafish.'"

Do you think I've created this? This dragon girl, lion girl, Hollywood hellion, terror of Sunset Boulevard, minor in the clubs, Chateau Demon? Do you think this is me?

It gets weirder.

Later, this Lindsay character — whom he describes as "a Hollywood girl, but a damaged one" — somehow gets a key to the main character's room and enters at 3 a.m. The surprise visit again ends with more reading.

The author later muses that, "What will [Lindsay] do? I hope she gets better. You see, she is famous. She was famous because she was a talented child actress, and now she's famous because she gets into trouble. She is damaged. For a while, after her high hellion days, she couldn't get work because she couldn’t get insured. They thought she would run off the sets to party. Her career suffered, and she started getting arrested (stealing, DUIs, car accidents, other things). But the arrests, even as they added up, were never going to be an emotional bottom for her, because she got just as much attention for them as she used to get for her film performances. She would get money offers for her jailhouse memoirs, crazy offers. So how would she ever stop the craziness when the response to her work and the response to her life had converged into one? Two kinds of performance, in film and in life, had melted into one."

[Related: James Franco Apologizes for Hitting on Teenage Girl]

The story also makes references to Lindsay's night out at New York City's Bungalow 8 with Meryl Streep's adult daughters following the premiere of their 2006 movie, Prairie Home Companion, and Franco's Oscar-hosting duties.

"This was the same weekend as the Oscars, the ones that I hosted, and behind the scenes of that show, that wonderful show, Terry Richardson shot photos; and we had this plan to do a book together with photos (him) and poems (me) about the Oscars, and the Chateau and Lindsay Lohan, and we were going to come back to the hotel and do a shoot with Lindsay, who seemed to be doing better at that point but maybe wasn't actually. But I was so unhappy about the Oscars because they had cut my Cher sequence — I was supposed to sing the song from Burlesque, 'You Haven't Seen the Last of Me,' dressed as Cher — that I didn't meet with Lindsay for the photos. Later she leaked a false story to the press that Terry was shooting a sex book with her and me."

We know much of this actually happened. But exactly how much of it? Besides the fact that the story appears in a fiction issue, the text also appears (in a slightly different version) in Franco's upcoming book, Hollywood Dreaming: Stories, Pictures, and Poems, to be released on September 22. The book description promises that it "brilliantly pieces together the youth of a seemingly familiar actor, playfully blurring the line between reality and fiction." In the intro, Franco himself attempts to explain: "This is not meant to be me. Of course there are many aspects of my experiences and many facts of my life embedded in here, but what writer escapes that? What I wanted was to turn everything into something broader, something childish. There are characters with symbolic or unrealistic names, and some of the stories are told as if a child were narrating them, although they are framed in a way that a child probably wouldn’t frame them. I wanted to feel the adult sensibility shining through the filter of childhood. The man who has Become looking back on the Becoming, and using the Becoming as the form for the Becoming to be expressed through."

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