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/ September 10, 2012
Ex-NYU Professor Sues James Franco For Defamation

It’s been almost two weeks since we last mentioned James Franco, which is longer than we’re used to here at NYU Local. Luckily for us, Franco has gotten himself into some trouble, so we’ve got something to talk about again.

We previously brought you news of Professor José Angel Santana’s suit against NYU, claiming that the university fired him for giving Franco a D. Now, Santana is targeting Franco directly. Last week, Santana filed a suit against Franco himself, accusing him of defamation.

Santana took advantage of a seemingly unrelated moment in pop culture, Clint Eastwood’s speech at the Republican National Convention, to reignite the conversation surrounding his issues with Franco.

The New York Post quotes Santana:

“Whoever was in Clint Eastwood’s chair at the Republican National Convention was more present than Mr. Franco was in my classes,” José Angel Santana told The Post, referring to the “Dirty Harry” actor’s “conversation’’ with an empty chair meant to represent President Obama

Franco is “a bully,’’ said the former full-time professor. “He uses the bully pulpit of his celebrity to punish anyone who doesn’t do his bidding.”

Harsh and topical words from the ex-NYU professor, who also makes a point to tell the Post that his teaching record boasts “overwhelmingly positive student evaluations”–a teaching record to which he claims Franco had access.

Despite those student evaluations, Franco seemed sure of Santana’s fate when, in one of many interviews that broached the topic, he said, “[Santana] is not going to be hired at another institution.” But, if our guess is correct, Santana is suing Franco for a hefty sum. And despite if Santana’s claims are true (NYU, along with Franco, deny their validity), it does seem apparent that Franco defamed his character. With any luck, Santana will walk away from this lawsuit with his bank account in tact, if not his reputation.

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