James Franco should give Anthony Weiner a call for advice. The actor, teacher, scholar and New York Times op-ed contributor was caught red-handed trying to hook up with an underage girl.
In case you were wondering, it’s clear he knew about her jailbait status: Franco, 35, sent Lucy Clode, 17, a direct message on Instagram asking, “You’re 18?” When she wrote back “nearly 18,” he even asked her when her birthday was.
Franco met Clode outside of his play “Of Mice and Men,” where she asked him to pose for a selfie with her. She captured a video of him telling her, “You gotta tag me.”
She did, and he promptly direct messaged Clode, who is visiting New York from a town called Dollar in Scotland. During the lengthy conversation, Franco asks Clode how long she is staying in New York and if she has a boyfriend. Then he asks her where she is staying and for her phone number.
It escalates from there. Clode sent screen captures of her conversation with Franco to a friend, who posted the images on Reddit.
In the texts, Franco asks, “Can I see you?” and “You’re single?” Most incriminating, he asks her, “Should I rent a room?”
Clode, in disbelief, writes, “April fools was an hour ago though…” to which Franco responds with a selfie, waving at the camera. “It’s me … Yes or no? … Tomorrow or thurs?”
Clode still doesn’t quite believe it’s him and tells him he sounds “so dodgy.” She promises to come back when she’s 18 but then says, “One second. I will meet you if you write my name on a piece of paper then send it to me with your face also in the picture, please”. And bam. There’s James Franco posing for a selfie with a note that says “LUCY.”
Franco later responded on Twitter, joking, “I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME.” He linked to a photo on Instagram that has since been deleted.
I’M NOT! I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you http://t.co/I1d4n3yVe0
— James Franco (@JamesFrancoTV) April 2, 2014
Some are speculating that this is a publicity stunt for Franco’s new movie in which he plays an older man seducing an underage teenager. We’re not so sure, but now the rumors have provided him with the perfect excuse.
And Clode? She’s just wrapping up the best family vacation to New York ever. We get the feeling there are going to be a lot of women asking for selfies outside of “Of Mice and Men” from now on.