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James Franco is still everywhere on the web thanks to an alleged attempt to hook-up with a 17-year-old girl from Scotland. There is now some speculation that the entire thing may have been a hoax to promote one of Franco’s new projects.
As previously reported, Franco allegedly exchanged private Instagram messages and texts with Lucy Clode, a girl from Scotland celebrating her 18th birthday in New York. She chronicled a meeting with Franco outside the Broadway theater where the actor is starring in Of Mice and Men on Instagram, including a video in which she was told to tag him. She did and that apparently let to a conversation in which Franco asked what hotel she was staying at. The conversation leaked when it showed up on imgur and Reddit.
Colde’s Instagram account no longer exists. She had over 8,000 followers by the time the story went viral. Franco later sent a tweet that read, “I'M NOT! I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you.”
Entertainment Weekly suggests that this could all be a marketing scheme for Palo Alto, Franco’s next movie. In the film, the tech-savvy actor plays a soccer coach who has an affair with a young student, played by Emma Roberts.
Franco’s reps haven’t commented on the story. As for Palo Alto, it’s scheduled for release in August.
UPDATE: The Hollywood Reporter notes that Franco appeared on Live! With Kelly and Michael this morning and apologized for the whole incident.
"I was feeling awkward -- I didn't want to come on the show and just feel awkward," he told the hosts. "I'm embarrassed, and I guess I'm just a model of how social media is tricky." He admitted that he "used bad judgment and I learned my lesson."
He later said of the conversation getting leaked, "Unfortunately, in my position -- I mean, I have a very good life, but not only do I have to the embarrassing kind of rituals of meeting someone, but if I do that, then it gets published for the world. So now, it's double embarrassing."