Actress Busy Philipps writes in an upcoming memoir, “This Will Only Hurt a Little,” that James Franco physically assaulted her on the set of their cult comedy “Freaks and Geeks,” in which they portrayed a tumultuous high school couple, it was reported Tuesday.
In an excerpt leaked online Monday that The Hollywood Reporter has confirmed is authentic, Philipps alleges that Franco, whom she calls a “f—— bully,” pushed her after filming a scene. The short-lived NBC sitcom aired for one season from 1999-2000.
In her book, Philipps recalls that the script called for her character, Kim Kelly, to gently nudge Franco’s Daniel Desario in the chest. Philipps writes that the scripted gesture caused Franco to get upset, after which he allegedly “threw” the actress to the ground in retaliation.
“He grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘Don’t ever touch me again!”‘ Philipps writes. “And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me.”
Philipps says she tearfully described the alleged incident to co-star Linda Cardellini, who suggested that Philipps report what happened to her manager. Philipps writes that Franco eventually apologized after being told to do so by the episode’s director and producers. Though he was asked to say he was sorry, Philipps says that Franco was never punished for his alleged behavior, according to the Reporter.
During a 2016 appearance on “Watch What Happens Live,” Philipps told host Andy Cohen about the confrontation with Franco on the set of “Freaks and Geeks.”
“When we were 19, we were on Freaks and Geeks and we really, really disliked each other. It’s well-documented,” Philipps said. “He, like, shoved me to the ground once. It was really brutal. But we’re friends now and we really like each other now as adults.”
Aside from the assault involving Franco, Philipps revealed days ago that her book will also detail her experience being raped at 14 years old, according to the Reporter. The actress shared her story last week, hours after Christine Blasey Ford testified in front of the Senate Judiciary Committee against Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh.
“This is me at 14. The age I was raped. It’s taken me 25 years to say those words. I wrote about it in my book. I finally told my parents and sister about it four months ago,” Philipps wrote on Instagram, according to the Reporter. “Tuesday is the day we are silent no more. All of us. I’m scared to post this. I can’t imagine what Dr. Ford is feeling right now.”