James Franco has spoken out about, and inadvertently admitted to, flirting with a 17-year-old girl over Instagram.
“I was feeling awkward, I didn't want to come on the show and just feel awkward," he said on American talk show Live with Kelly and Michael. "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, but what I've learned, I guess just because I'm new to it, is you don't know who's on the other end. You meet somebody in person and you get a feel for them, you don't know who you're talking to. I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson."
Yesterday, screengrabs emerged of the pair talking on Instagram, after meeting outside the Broadway theatre where the 35-year-old is currently performing in Of Mice and Men. He asked Lucy Clode from Scotland how old she was, whether she had a boyfriend - then perhaps presumptuously asks if she wants to meet him in a hotel room. Although not illegal (17 is, in fact, above the age of consent in New York), the conversation caused a furore online as many challenged his morally dubious taste in young women.
"I have a very good life," he added. "But not only do I have to go through the embarrassing kind of rituals of meeting someone, but sometimes if I do that, then it gets published for the world. It's doubly embarrassing."
Damage limitation at its finest.