Busy Philipps writes in her new book, “This Will Only Hurt a Little,” that James Franco was a “f–king bully” on the set of “Freaks and Geeks,” detailing a time that he allegedly pushed her to the ground.
In the scene, Philipps, who played Franco’s on-again-off-again girlfriend Kim Kelly on the show, was told to hit his chest while yelling “Dammit Daniel, do SOMETHING.” She did the scene and instead of delivering his next line, Philipps said he “grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!”
She claims Franco then threw her to the ground and she had the wind knocked out of her. She said that she had tears in her eyes, but insisted to everyone on set at the time that she was fine.
They did the take one more time and then she says she ran to her co-star Linda Cardellini’s trailer and “sobbed” as she told Cardellini the story. Cardellini advised her to call her manager. She adds that writer Judd Apatow and creator Paul Feig weren’t on set at the time.
She wrote in her book that “James was full of bad behavior, so why would this be treated any differently.” Apatow called her that night and said they were going to talk to James and they would force him to apologize to her, but she notes it was “barely a slap on the wrist” and attributes the lack of discipline to the “boys’ club.”
Philipps, 39, also wrote she felt like there was no point in telling Feig and Apatow how she felt and how Franco continued to make her feel uncomfortable while filming the show.
This is not the first time Philipps has detailed this incident.
During the PaleyFest LA reunion in 2011, the whole cast, minus Franco, talked and laughed about the incident, including Philipps.
Philipps explained in the video that Franco had a discussion with someone about his character’s backstory with an abusive father, so he didn’t want any physicality between his girlfriend and himself, which Philipps and the director of the episode didn’t know. So he freaked out when she hit him during the take.
Philipps also mentioned the assault in 2016 on “Watch What Happens Live.”
“We’re friends now and we really like each other now as adults, but as kids we did not get along,” she said.