Busy Philipps calls out James Franco in new book: 'He threw me to the ground' on 'Freaks and Geeks'

Taryn Ryder
·2 min read


Busy Philipps has made lifelong friends on film and TV sets over her 20-year career, but it sounds like James Franco isn’t one of them. In her anticipated new memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, out Oct. 16, Philipps recalls a scary moment with her former Freaks and Geeks co-star.

In an excerpt obtained by Radar Online and verified by Yahoo Entertainment, Philipps details an incident in which Franco allegedly shoved her to the ground, and she writes that he was a “f***ing bully.” While shooting a scene for the 1999 cult TV hit, Philipps claims she was directed to gently hit Franco in the chest while delivering a line. The actor supposedly broke character and got upset.

James Franco and Busy Philipps. (Photo: Getty Images)
James Franco and Busy Philipps. (Photo: Getty Images)

“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 remembers everyone on set was horrified. The Dawson’s Creek alum apparently sobbed to her co-star Linda Cardellini, who advised her to call her manager. The next day, Franco supposedly apologized after being ordered to do so by the director and producers. However, she notes that he was never punished for his supposed behavior.

Busy Philipps and James Franco in <em>Freaks and Geeks</em>. (Photo: NBC/Courtesy of Everett Collection)
Busy Philipps and James Franco in Freaks and Geeks. (Photo: NBC/Courtesy of Everett Collection)

Yahoo Entertainment reached out to a representative for Franco regarding Philipps’s story but did not immediately receive a response.

Franco’s character has been called into question over the past year; he was accused of sexual misconduct by multiple women but has denied the claims. The 40-year-old actor has kept a relatively low-profile since allegations surfaced, but the accusations haven’t stymied his carrier. Seth Rogen, who also starred on Freaks and Geeks and is a frequent collaborator of Franco’s, said he would absolutely keep working with his friend. Rogen hasn’t weighed in (publicly, at least) on Philipps’s story.

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