José Angel Santana said James Franco is making it hard for him to get a new job by calling him an "awful" teacher in interviews
James Franco's attempts to juggle a Hollywood career and graduate school have left the "Pineapple Express" star facing something far worse than detention.
Franco was slapped with a defamation lawsuit this week by former New York University professor José Angel Santana, who gave the actor a D for failing to show up to his directing classes.
Santana, who no longer works at NYU, claims that Franco is making it hard for him to get another position because he has disparaged him in several interviews.
In an interview with the Huffington Post, for instance, Franco called Santana "awful" and said, "I didn’t feel like I needed to waste my time with a bad teacher and that I should go and work with Danny Boyle. I felt like that was the right decision.”
According to the lawsuit, filed in Manhattan Supreme Court, Franco only attended two of Santana's 14 classes. The actor, who is also enrolled in a Ph.D. English program at Yale, took graduate courses in filmmaking at NYU.
Santana is asking for unspecified monetary damages.
"The integrity, credibility and reputation of Dr. Santana is paramount to his continued success as a teacher and a director," the suit reads. "Franco's false, outrageous and defamatory statements…damaged the integrity, credibility and reputation of Dr. Santana and threaten his continued professional success."
Neither an attorney for Santana nor a spokeswoman for Franco immediately responded to TheWrap's requests for comment.
This is not the only legal action Santana has taken stemming from his tenure at NYU. In a separate suit, Santana has gone after the university, accusing it of racial discrimination and harassment. In the filing, Santana says he is both Hispanic and African-American.
Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.