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Busy Philipps is opening up about a scary incident with her one-time “Freaks and Geeks” co-star James Franco.
In her upcoming memoir, “This Will Only Hurt a Little,” Philipps, 39, recalls a time fellow cast member Franco, 40, physically attacked her on set.
The “I Feel Pretty” actress portrayed Kim Kelly on the teen drama, the on-and-off girlfriend of Franco’s character, Daniel Desario. While filming a scene, Philipps says she was directed to “gently hit” Franco on the chest as she delivered a line.
That is when the trouble started, Philipps says, describing Franco as a “(expletive) bully” on the set of the show. The actor allegedly broke character and grew angry at her, she recalls in an excerpt verified by Yahoo Entertainment and The Hollywood Reporter.
“(Franco) grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!’” she says. “And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me.”
After the altercation, Philipps says she broke down in front of fellow co-star Linda Cardellini, who advised the actress to report the incident to her manager.
Franco apologized the next day, Philipps says, although she believes his remorse was forced by the show’s producers and director. She adds that Franco never faced any consequences for his actions.
“Freaks and Geeks,” which premiered in 1999 and ran for one season, featured cast members Cardellini, Jason Segal, Seth Rogan, John Daley, Martin Starr and Samm Levine, in addition to Philipps and Franco.
Franco denied the previous allegations against him. USA TODAY has reached out to the actor’s representative in light of Philipps’ accusation.
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