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Actor James Franco being sued by NYU professor, called a 'bully'

Actor James Franco is being sued by NYU professor José Angel Santana over a D he received in Santana's class. Franco made remarks that Santana claims have defamed his character and reputation. Santana also called Franco a "bully."

James Franco attends the'Spring Breakers' premiere during the 2012 Toronto International Film Festival at Ryerson Theatre, September 7, 2012
Alberto E. Rodriguez/Getty Images
James Franco
Charles Leonio/Getty Images for Guess

Santana first brought suit against Franco in December 2011 for wrongful termination, claiming that the university favored Franco (also teaching at NYU) and punished him, eventually firing him, for giving that D to Franco.

Then the words really began to fly. Franco was filming the movie "127 Hours" when all this was going on. Franco's explanation was that he just decided to spend his time on the movie.

"I decided to do '127 Hours' instead of going to acting class... I've been in eight years of acting class. I didn't feel like I needed to waste my time with a bad teacher and that I should go and work with Danny Boyle. I felt like that was the right decision."

Later, he claimed, "[Santana] wasn't fired. He was asked not to come back after three years because they didn't think he was a good teacher."

"He's not going to win the lawsuit [against NYU] and he's not going to get hired at another institution... It's ridiculous. And I'm teaching at NYU, so what does that say?"

That last statement is the main subject of Santana's lawsuit.

"I didn't deserve to be on the receiving end of those falsehoods," Santana further told the Post, adding, "I was outraged that someone with his attendance record at NYU had the audacity to make those statements."

James Franco is best known for his breakout role in TV's "Freaks and Geeks," as well as playing Harry Osborn in the first three Spiderman movies.

Franco is currently filming "Spring Breakers," a drug-and-sex indie movie. The movie, scheduled for release early next year, also stars Selena Gomez and Vanessa Hudgens.

The war of words picked up steam again after the Republican National Convention last week.

"Whoever was in Clint Eastwood's chair at the Republican National Convention was more present than Mr. Franco was in my classes," Santana recently told The New York Post. "

Clint Eastwood would be proud.



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