Multi-talented force of nature James Franco will soon star in "Oz: The Great and Powerful," but first he has to follow the yellow brick road to Manhattan Supreme Court for a lawsuit far more worrisome than flying monkeys.
Back in December, we reported on an NYU professor named José Angel Santana, who was suing the university for firing him under pressure from Franco (who got a "D" after being absent 12 of 14 classes), but now New York Post reports that Santana is taking a Civil Action directly against America's favorite Oscar host.
"Whoever was in Clint Eastwood’s chair at the Republican National Convention was more present than Mr. Franco was in my classes," said Santana sarcastically of the "127 Hours" Oscar-nominee, who he's accusing of using "the bully pulpit of his celebrity to punish anyone who doesn’t do his bidding."
Though the monetary damages he's asking for is unspecified, Santana is suing Franco for defamation in making "disparaging and inaccurate public statements," including interviews where he described his teacher as "awful" and "a bad teacher," and claimed, "He is not going to be hired at another institution."
Santana, who holds a Ph.D. in Mythological Studies and had been teaching at NYU's Tisch School since 2009, is a former actor, having had bit parts in '80s flicks like "Desperately Seeking Susan."
On his official website, Dr. Santana is promoting a program he developed called "The Secret" (not to be confused with the more famous, Oprah-approved "Secret"), which he says provides "a model for having rich, meaningful, and creative relationships with young people." We assume there's an asterisk after that, which reads "*Except with James Franco."