Dailies | James Franco Apologizes for Instagram Chat With Teen Girl: ‘I’m Embarrassed … I Used Bad Judgement’ (Video)

“Social media is tricky,” says the actor

James Franco, who spends his life mystifying the public with a thick sheen of irony and shifting intentions, dropped all pretense on Friday morning to issue a very awkward mea culpa.

Appearing on “Live with Kelly and Michael,” Franco addressed one of the weirder news stories of the week: His apparent flirtation, via Instagram’s private messaging service, with a 17-year-old Scottish girl who was visiting New York. Franco is a prolific Instagram user, with many fans who profess their love for him on each of his uploads, but chose the wrong one to engage with on Tuesday.

He met the girl outside of the stage door at his theater, took a video with her and requested that she tag it. When she did, it led to a semi-aggressive exchange that ended up being published online (it should be noted that 17 is the legal age of consent in New York). Friday, the actor squirmed in his seat as he described the perils of mixing celebrity and digital forums to make new friends.

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“I’m embarrassed and I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky, it’s a way people meet each other today. What I’ve learned, I guess because I’m new to it, you don’t know who’s on the other end,” Franco said. “I used bad judgment and learned my lesson. Unfortunately in my position, I have a very good life, but not only do I have to go through the embarrassing rituals of meeting someone, but sometimes if I do that, then it gets published for the world and so now it’s doubling embarrassing.”

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The situation has some parallels with the plot of his upcoming film “Palo Alto,” in which he plays a high school soccer coach who grows a bit too close with a student.

  • Me

    Oh, he didn’t do anything wrong!

    17???? Jerry Seinfeld dated a woman at 17….great rack was the reason.

    Doris Day, who’s celebrating a birthday this week, was 17 when she got married!

    SHUT UP!

  • Me

    Actress Valarie Hobson was 17 when she kiss a 37 year-old actor in “Bride of Frankenstein” (1935).

    Jennifer Hate Hewfatso was 16 when she kiss and made out (lightly) wih Scott Wolf on early episodes of “Party of Five.” In real life Hewfatso was 16 and Scott Wolf’s character was 17. But in real life, he was 26.

    Hewfatso had a crush on Wolf!

  • PrairieCowboy

    So…being a pedo is ok if you are famous. Well is does work for american presidents, so why not for americans.

  • AJ

    Honestly, she was kind of wrong for putting him on blast like that. I’m surprised to see James sends texts like any other creeper. Though, regardless of what men want to say, he knew he was crossing a line because he kept asking her when her birthday was (aka “How long might I have to wait until you’re legal in all fifty states.”)