In a new excerpt from her upcoming memoir, This Will Only Hurt a Little, obtained by Yahoo Entertainment, Busy Philipps is claiming her Freaks and Geeks co-star James Franco assaulted her while they were filming a scene for the series. As Philipps remembers, the scene required her character to gently hit Franco in his chest during their lines of dialogue. Franco was caught off guard that this directive was included in the script, and subsequently broke character to yell at Philipps. “He grabbed both my arms and screamed in my face, ‘DON’T EVER TOUCH ME AGAIN!’” she wrote. “And he threw me to the ground. Flat on my back. Wind knocked out of me.” Philipps also described Franco as being a “fucking bully” throughout their Freaks and Geeks experience.
After the assault, Philipps said she cried in front of fellow co-star Linda Cardellini, who advised her to report what happened to her manager. She didn’t, though, as Franco apologized to her the following day — after being forced to do so by the show’s producers and director. Philipps notes, though, that Franco was never formally reprimanded for his actions and continued to work without consequence. Earlier this year, many women accused Franco of various instances of sexual misconduct and inappropriate behavior. He has maintained that these allegations are “not accurate”, although he will not “actively refute” them so their voices can be heard.