It all started with an Instagram. 17-year-old Lucy Clode caught up with actor James Franco outside the New York theater where he's performing in "Of Mice and Men." After Franco asked Lucy to "tag him" in the video (supposedly so he could find her later), the two started texting - some might even say suggestively, with Franco trying to convince Clode to meet up with him IRL.
Once the DMs and texts made it online (somehow...), Franco responded with an Instagram post of his own, asking parents to please help keep their teenagers away from him.
Seems like a pretty open-and-shut case. Franco tried to make it with a not-quite-18-yet female. But it has been suggested online that the whole sordid affair could actually be a publicity stunt, designed to promote the upcoming film adaptation of Franco's short story collection, "Palo Alto."
Palo Alto Trailer
In the film, Franco plays a soccer coach who makes inappropriate advances towards, you guessed it, an underage student. And this trailer for the film just appeared online, a mere day after Lucy's Instagram messages and text messages went public.
Mere coincidence or deviously clever marketing plan? Well, we'll see if websites and blogs start taking the bait and doing long, involved posts about the story, recounting all the minute details... Oh wait...