This morning James Franco went on Live! With Kelly and Michael to clarify the media storm that has occurred since he was accused of hitting on an underage girl on Instagram. To his embarrassment, Franco really did try to hook up with an underage girl on Instagram, and the texts and Instagram messages that were leaked by the 17-year-old are in fact real.
Franco was originally scheduled to promote his Broadway run in Of Mice and Men, but instead he addressed the very large elephant in the room. Of his social media snafu, Franco told Kelly Ripa:
"I guess I'm, you know, embarrassed, and I guess I'm just a model of how social media is tricky. In my position, not only do I have to go through the embarrassing rituals of meeting someone, but sometimes it gets published for the world."On April 2, texts and Instagram direct messages were released by a 17-year-old girl that goes by the Instagram handle Lucy_Clode. The underage girl who was visiting New York City from her homeland of Scotland, caught Franco in the Broadway play Of Mice and Men, and posted a video of the actor greeting fans outside. The 127 Hours actor told the girl to tag him, and that's when things got interesting.
17-year-old Lucy released uploads of texts and Instagram DMs that were exchanged after Franco found her on Instagram. Hoping for a hook up, Franco messaged the fan to see if she was staying in New York, and if she was 18-years-old. Throughout the brief text exchange Franco asked if he should rent a hotel room, alluding that he was looking to hook up. It appeared that Franco eventually backed off when Lucy stated several times that she was only 17-years-old.
After the conversation, the teen "exposed" the exchange by uploading photos that Franco sent her as proof that he was on the other end of the texts. One photo shows Franco holding up a piece of paper with her name written across it. After uploading the texts and Instagram messages to image hosting site Imgur, a media firestorm occurred. Lucy's Instagram as well as the texts exchanged have been deleted from the hosting site.
Before admitting that he hit on the Scottish schoolgirl, some people hinted that this might have been a stunt to promote his new film Palo Alto. In the film, based on his semi-autobiographical short essays, James plays a soccer coach who winds up carrying on an inappropriate relationship with one of his teenage soccer players (played by Emma Roberts.)
After Franco's text messages were leaked, he immediately changed his Instagram's bio to "Please don't DM if you are under 18." This message has since been deleted from his profile.
[Image Credit: Tribeca Film]