A university professor is claiming that he lost his job after he gave James Franco an embarrassing 'D' grade in a course he was teaching on account of the knock-'em-dead actor and perennial student showing up for only two out of the 14 lectures he was expected at.
The unusual allegation is laid out in a lawsuit filed this week in the Manhattan Supreme Court by Jose Angel Santana, who says that New York University fired him unfairly in part because of his refusal to pander to Mr Franco and give him a grade he didn't deserve. In the suit, he seeks to get his job back.
Mr Franco, 33, who seems to be as attracted to campus life as he is to the camera lens, has attended courses recently at Columbia University and at Yale. It was while pursuing a fine arts master's degree at NYU that he was obliged to attend Mr Santana's lectures entitled "Directing the Actor II".
In his legal suit, Mr Santana asserts that other members of the department bent the rules flagrantly to make Mr Franco look better than he really was including using inflated grades.
The implication is that NYU wanted not just the glory of having the heart-melting Mr Franco in its midst but also the financial boon that his presence promised to bring .