Actor Daniel Franzese, perhaps best-known as Damian in 2004’s Mean Girls, penned a Facebook post Saturday revealing the homophobic insults and physical harassment he allegedly received from Bijou Phillips while on set of the film Bully. Now, in response to his claims, the actress issued an apology denying she is homophobic but admitting that her memory about the experience is hazy. “I don’t remember that time well,” Phillips told TMZ. “[T]hose years are a blur.”
According to Franzese, the abuse he experienced from Phillips while making the 2001 crime drama left him “scared and closeted and feared for my job.” The actor says Phillips “body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me,” at one point twisting his nipple and kicking him in the back of the head on set. In her comments to TMZ, Phillips apologizes for her actions, saying she thought she and Franzese had been on good terms at the time.
“I want to write to address what Daniel has said. I don’t remember that time well, those years are a blur. I was a teenager and reckless in my behavior. I know Daniel to be a trustworthy and honest person, and to find out through social media that I was not the friend I thought I was to him made me so sad,” Phillips said. “I am so mortified by this behavior and have contacted Daniel and apologized to him privately. I am not and never have been homophobic. I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community and Daniel.” Franzese acknowledged her apology in a Twitter thread. “It was 18years ago,” the actor wrote. “She has sent me an apology I accept.”