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James Franco Accused of Sexual Misconduct By 5 Women; Actor Continues to Make Media Rounds

At this point, we’re sadly unsurprised when one of Hollywood’s most influential men is accused of some form of sexual misconduct.

The cycle of accusation, apology, and fallout has become all too familiar and, for the most part, fairly easy to predict.

But as award season kicks into high gear, James Franco is defying convention by refusing to step away from the spotlight or even apologize for his alleged past behavior.

On Sunday night, Franco won a Golden Globe for his performance in The Disaster Artist, a film that he also wrote and directed.

His celebration was short-lived, however, due number of tweets posted by actress Ally Sheedy that hinted at sexual misconduct on Franco’s part.

Shortly thereafter, a woman named Violet Paley came forward with allegations that Franco had sexually assaulted her when she was just 17 years old.

In the 48 hours that followed, four other women came forward 

“I was talking to him, all of a sudden his penis was out,” Paley said. 

“I got really nervous, and I said, ‘Can we do this later?’ He was kind of nudging my head down, and I just didn’t want him to hate me, so I did it.”

Paley went on to date Franco, but says when she reflects on the incident, she feels she was coerced into performing oral sex despite feeling uncomfortable about it.

“I would say, ‘No, stop, get out of my car.’ The power dynamic was really off,” she tells the

Paley says she emailed Franco after the Harvey Weinstein sex scandals surfaced to make him aware that she felt she had been mistreated.

She says he didn’t respond right away, but eventually called to try and make amends.

Sarah Tither-Kaplan, an acting student at Franco’s Studio 4 film school, also elaborated on allegations against the 39-year-old today.

Tither-Kaplan claims that whle shooting the 2014 film The Long Home, Franco removed protective plastic guards that covered actresses’ vaginas while he simulated oral sex.

“I got it in my head pretty quickly that, okay, you don’t say ‘no’ to this guy,” Tither-Kaplan said.

Hilary Dusome and Natalie Chmiel, two other students of Franco’s, detailed an incident in which the actor allegedly got angry when no actresses would agree to go topless while filming a scene in a strip club.

“I felt like I was selected for something based on my hard work and my merit, and when I realized it was because I have nice [breasts], it was pretty clear that was not the case,” Dusome said.

“I don’t think he started teaching with bad intentions, but he went down a bad path and damaged a lot of people in the process.”

In the wake of the allegations, Franco has continued to make talk show and other media appearances in hopes of improving his film’s chances of securing several possible Oscar nominations.

On Tuesday night, Franco denied responsibility in an interview with Stephen Colbert.

Wednesday, he appeared on Seth Meyers’ show, where he again declined to admit to any wrongdoing, but stated that he supports the rights of women to come forward with such accusations.

“This is a conversation that obviously needs to be had,” he told Meyers.

“There are people, women and others, who have not been a part of this conversation and I truly believe that they need to be. So I support that.”

Asked if he had contacted Sheedy to ask why she felt compelled to publicly call him out, Franco became visibly uncomfortable.

“I don’t know. I … It was so shocking. I don’t know. I just … I guess I’m just letting it be,” he said.

We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.

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Bryan Box, 13 Reasons Why Actor, Arrested for Burglary & Theft

Well, this is yet another blow to to already controversial series, 13 Reasons Why.

One of the show’s actors has been arrested for, of all things, stealing from the elderly. And the way that he went about it is upsetting, to say the least.

You know what else is screwed up? The show hasn’t even been around for a year, and he’s not even the first actor to get into trouble with the law.

Bryan Box isn’t one of the biggest names in 13 Reasons Why.

He plays a high school student named Jamie Garrison. 

In an interview, Bryan revealed that he got the role on the hit series by discovering that it was filming nearby — via Facebook — and then looking into being cast as a background character.

He’s not quite an extra — his character has a name and performs actual actions — but it’s a minor role. Even so, that’s a huge break for a 23-year-old, right?

Which is what makes this so sad, disappointing, and difficult to understand.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports that Bryan Box was arrested on suspicion of stealing from and burglarizing elderly people in San Francisco.

Per the report, he was arrested just before New Year’s and was charged with nine felony counts of burglary, possession of stolen property, and theft by a caretaker of an elder.

See, he apparently worked as a caretaker in multiple Marin County residencies before he got cast on 13 Reasons Why.

Are you ready for this to get sadder? The Marin Independent Journal reports that his alleged crimes took place between September 22nd and November 7th.

According to their write-up, Box visited the elderly people for whom he’d acted as caretaker in the past and offered them kind words or even small gifts, spoke of his new career, and … then allegedly stole from them.

He’s linked to six burglaries and accused of trying to sell some of the ill-gotten gains, which include but are not limited to:

Jewelry, medication, a laptop, checks, and a social security card.

Just one of his alleged burglaries reportedly involved losses of about $ 50,000.

That is … heartbreaking.

Sad that he would (allegedly) do such a thing. And sad that the elderly people who must have been glad to see him must have felt so betrayed.

It’s unclear if Bryan Box will be in the second season of 13 Reasons Why, but we’d point out that Season 2 began filming back in June, though they took a break from filming in October because, you know, California was on fire a whole lot.

Making things more awkward, Box isn’t even the first member of the cast of this nascent series to be accused of serious wrongdoing.

Uriah Shelton is accused of physical assault against a former friend-with-benefits, of having kicked her so hard in the midsection that she had bruising on her internal organs.

All of that is almost a footnote beside the largest controversy: the show itself.

Many ask if 13 Reasons Why glorifies suicide or at least tells a story of suicide in such a way that at-risk viewers, particularly those with suicidal depression, find it harder to resist their own self-destructive urges.

The father of a suicide victim has slammed 13 Reasons Why and singled out executive producer Selena Gomez, accusing them of being reckless and “sick” by creating their show.

Even if 13 Reasons Why didn’t follow sensible guidelines that would make it safe for those who are plagued by suicidal urges, we don’t think that there was anything malicious or “sick” about creating the series.

Just like how someone who uses peanuts in their recipe just wants to create the right taste for their dish. It’s just that, you know, sometimes people are deathly allergic to peanuts. And they die.

But we can absolutely understand how a grief-stricken father who found his teenage daughter hanging in her bedroom and ultimately lost her at the hospital could miss that nuance.

At this point, though, we have to ask — with two cast members accused of serious misdeeds in a year’s time, how may more of these young actors are going to turn out to be so much worse than we’d imagined?

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Jerry Van Dyke Dies; Emmy-Nominated Actor Was 86

Jerry Van Dyke, a veteran actor and the younger brother of iconic comedian Dick Van Dyke, died on Friday afternoon at his ranch in Arkansas.

He was 86 years old.

According to Jerry’s wife, per TMZ, the actor passed away with her by his side. 

The exact cause of death is unknown at this time, but the couple had been in a car accident two years ago and Van Dyke’s health had sadly gone downhill ever since.

A native of Danville, Illinois, Van Dyke got his start on television by making appearances on The Dick Van Dyke Show, the beloved sitcom that starred his real-life older sibling.

He also made appearances on The Ed Sullivan Show and The Judy Garland Show early on in his career.

Prior to dedicating his professional life to acting, Jerry pursued stand-up comedy as a young man and performed at military bases around the globe.

on coach

Van Dyke has a very long and impressive resume, but he’s likely best known for his role as Assistant Coach Luther Horatio Van Dam on the TV sitcom Coach, which earned him four Emmy Award nominations.

The series ran from 1989 to 1997.

It centers on the fictional Minnesota State University Screaming Eagles and it often featured guest appearances by professional football figures such as Troy Aikman, Dick Butkus and Jerry Jones, as well as actors like Lucy Liu, Drew Carey and Mary Hart.

Van Dyke’s Luther was an assistant coach who was known for his bumbling ways and occasional moments of pathos.

This is a photo of him from the show:

coach picture

His final small screen appearance took place on ABC’s hit show The Middle in 2015.

Well aware of his brother’s enormous fame, Jerry said the following to USA Today back in the 1990s:

“I was always known as Dick Van Dyke’s brother and the guy that did My Mother the Car. Now people know me that never knew me before, that don’t even know Dick. That’s really a thrill.”

jvd

He maintained this kind of sense of humor throughout his career.

“If I had it all to do over again, I definitely would have turned things down,” he told The Associated Press in 1994, adding:

“Almost everything I did!” 

And then there was this, to The Toronto Star that same year:

“I’m getting sick of Dick riding on my coattails. I just can’t prop up his career forever.”

Jerry Van Dyke is survived by two kids and his wife.

May he rest in peace.

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Jon Paul Steuer, Former Star Trek Actor, Dies at 33

Jon Paul Steuer, a former child actor who turned into a successful musician later in life, passed away on New Year’s Day from an unknown cause. 

He was 33 years old.

Fellow members of the band P.R.O.B.L.E.M.S confirmed this sad piece news via a Facebook post on Wednesday, January 3.

It reads as follows:

“It is with heavy hearts and saddened minds that we announce the passing of our dear friend and singer Jonny Jewels, AKA Jon Paul Steuer.

“The addition of Jonny to our dysfunctional band family was one of the best choices that we have ever made, and he brought a much needed sense of fun and lightheartedness to everything we did.

“He was only with us for a little more than a year, but we managed to cram a lifetime of great experiences into his tenure as our singer: dozens shows at home in Portland and across several states, an amazing European tour, and our best full-length release yet.”

Concluded the farewell message:

“We’ve lost our singer, but far, far more than that we’ve lost a friend. Rest in peace, Jonny…we love you.”

goodbye post

An ex-child actor, Steuer portrayed a young Klingon on Star Trek: The Next Generation and the oldest son of Brett Butler’s lead character on the 1990s sitcom Grace Under Fire.

(The photo below is taken from his time on Star Trek.)

Steuer also appeared on an episode of the series The Wonder Years and the film Little Giants before landing his best known acting job on the aforementioned NBC sitcom.

He left Grace Under Fire at age 12 after three years, in 1996… and promptly retired from acting.

In the years since, however, Steuer has occasionally been spotted at Star Trek conventions.

on star trek

The official Star Trek Online Twitter account shared a message in tribute to the late actor on Thursday:

“Rest in Peace, Jon Paul Steuer, the first actor to play Alexander in TNG. You will be deeply missed.”

He told The A.V. Club website in 2015, regarding his career:

“I wanted to forge on with acting after quitting the show, and I went out on a few interviews.

“But even then they’d turn into question-and-answer sessions with casting agents about Grace Under Fire. I was kind of blown away by how unprofessional people inside the industry were.

“It really soured me. I didn’t want that kind of attention.”

After leaving the acting world, Steuer performed in rock bands and, a few years ago, even launched Harvest At The Bindery in Portland.

The restaurant announced on Facebook on Thursday it will shut down in wake of Steuer’s passing.

“Due to an unexpected tragedy, Harvest will be permanently closing our doors,” the post reads.

“We thank you for your support and understanding. Jon Paul Steuer R.I.P. There will be a memorial gathering for Jonny at Harvest on Sunday 1/7 beginning at 1:00. You can donate to help cover Funeral and Memorial costs here.” 

Steuer is survived by his parents.

May he rest in peace.

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T.J. Miller Accused of Sexual Assault; Actor Issues Firm Denial

Even if you don’t recognize the name T.J. Miller, you’re almost certainly familiar with the comic and actor’s work.

Star of the popular HBO sitcom Silicon Valley, Miller’s distinctive voice can be heard often, in everything from commercials to cartoons.

And now, his name has been added to the ever-growing list of powerful men in Hollywood who have been accused of sexual assault.

The Daily Beast has published an account by a woman whose name was not given due to fears of reprisal.

She says she dated Miller when they were both students at George Washington University in Washington.

The relationship reportedly ended following a violent sexual encounter that left the woman traumatized.

“He just tried a lot of things without asking me, and at no point asked me if I was all right,” she tells the outlet.

“He choke[d] me, and I kept staring at his face hoping he would see that I was afraid and [that he] would stop… I couldn’t say anything.”

The woman, who was referred to only as “Sarah” in the piece, says Miller punched her in the face during the encounter, bloodying her lip and breaking a tooth.

Others who attended GWU with Sarah and Miller have come forward to corroborate her account, revealing that the allegations against the actor were common knowledge on campus.

“I attended George Washington University for undergraduate studies from 2000 until December 2003… I had a romantic relationship with [this] woman, who spoke with me about T.J. Miller sexually assaulting her,” attorney Matt Lord wrote in a statement issued to The Daily Beast.

“At the time I believed the statements she made regarding the assault by Mr. Miller, and I continue to believe the statements she made are true.”

Lord added:

“She was engaged in student conduct proceedings regarding the sexual assault, and I remember the emotional toll that the assault and the subsequent conduct hearings placed on her.”

Anonymous sources who have worked with Miller claim the actor has a history of dismissing the allegations by making light of them.

Many believe that it’s for this reason that prominent female comics and actresses have declined to work with Miller.

T.J. and wife Kate Miller issued a statement today in which they denied the allegations and attempted to discredit the accuser.

This is the couple’s statement (which was posted alongside the photo below on Kate’s Instagram page) in its entirety:

“We met this woman over a decade ago while studying together in college, she attempted to break us up back then by plotting for over a year before making contradictory claims and accusations.

“She attempted to discredit both of our voices and use us against one another by trying to portray Kate to be a continuous abuse victim of T.J. (further efforts to hurt the two of us).

“She was asked to leave our university comedy group because of worrisome and disturbing behavior, which angered her immensely, she then became fixated on our relationship, and began telling people around campus “I’m going to destroy them” & “I’m going to ruin him.

“We are confident that a full consideration of accounts from and since that time will shed light and clarity on the true nature of not only this person’s character, but also on the real facts of the matter. (See the e-mails referenced).

“We stand together in stating this is nothing more than an unfortunate resurgence of her lies designed to wreak havoc on two happily married people in the public eye.”

We’ll have further updates on this developing story as more information becomes available.

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Danny Masterson Ousted from Nexflix show, ‘The Ranch,’ Actor Denies Rape Claims

Actor Danny Masterson has been booted from “The Ranch,” Netflix just announced, because of multiple rape allegations, but the actor vehemently denies the claims. Netflix says his last day of filming was Monday.  Four women claim Masterson raped…

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