During an appearance on Marc Maron’s WTF podcast, the 60-year-old actress — who appeared alongside Franco in The Disaster Artist — stood by her costar and director, calling him “the loveliest, kindest, sweetest, elegant, nicest man.”
“I’m appalled by this thing about him that is happening” she said. “Now all of a sudden he’s a bad guy? I worked with him, I know him. … He’s a kind friend, lovely professional. I’m absolutely appalled by this.”
Stone, who has had a nearly four decade career in Hollywood, went on to say that she’s “seen it all” when it comes to men and that she supports the #MeToo and Time’s Up movements. She just thinks those accused should be subject to fair treatment through the normal judicial system.
“I don’t feel like these trials without due process are entirely appropriate,” Stone said. “I feel that it’s appropriate that people have to take responsibility for the actions, but I do feel that some due process is in order.”
“There’s a range of activities. And you can’t charge somebody with a felony over a misdemeanor,” she continued. “There has to be a balance here where this has to be heard in a rational format. So this isn’t just black and white. And it can’t be that every man who doesn’t know what the f— he’s doing in life is a criminal. ‘Cause a lot of men are just stupid.”
Stone added that she’s recently personally confronted the men who she claims harassed her in the past. She did not identify them by name, telling Maron she told the men, “‘I’m not naming names and ruining lives, but if I was, I would name names and ruin your life.’ ”
“Some men are just incredibly stupid,” she said. “You go out with them, they bring you home for a good-night kiss and they grab your hand and put it on their penis. A 50-year-old man. I don’t think they’re trying to sexually harass me, I think they’re just incredibly stupid and awkward. Like, really? That’s your move? Please don’t ever call me again, because you’re too stupid to date. I don’t think I should ruin your whole life over that but I just think you’re incredibly stupid.”
Franco’s name was first brought into the national discussion of sexual harassment in January after he wore a Time’s Up pin at the 2018 Golden Globe Awards, where he won a trophy for his role in The Disaster Artist.
In an article published in the Los Angeles Times days later, five women accused the actor of abusing his power as an acting teacher and mentor in a sexually exploitative manner.
Two students claimed the actor would often become angry on set when they would refuse to film topless while another former acting student at the film school Franco founded said he once removed safety guards while filming an oral sex scene on the set of the 2015 film The Long Home.
Additionally, actress Violet Paley recounted her previous social media claims that Franco exposed himself and tried to pressure her into oral sex. Though she said they had a consensual relationship, Paley said, “that time wasn’t consensual.” She also alleged that he told her friend to meet him in a hotel when the friend was 17.
Franco addressed the allegations during an appearance on Late Night with Seth Meyers later that month.
“There are people that need to be heard,” the actor told Meyers. “I have my own side of this story, but I believe in these people that have been underrepresented getting their stories out enough that I will hold back things that I could say, just because I believe in it that much,” he said. “So if I have to take a knock because I’m not going to try and actively refute things, then I will, because I believe in it that much.”
The actor’s attorney, Michael Plonsker, previously denied each of the women’s allegations to the Times and cited Franco’s comments during an appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert as his formal denial.
“Look, in my life I pride myself on taking responsibility for things that I have done,” Franco told Colbert. “I have to do that to maintain my well being. The things that I heard that were on Twitter are not accurate. But I completely support people coming out and being able to have a voice because they didn’t have a voice for so long. So I don’t want to shut them down in any way.”
RELATED VIDEO: James Franco Skips Critics Choice Awards as Source Says He’s ‘in a Really Bad Place’ After Allegations
Since the allegations, Franco has maintained a lower profile. He skipped the Critics’ Choice Awards, where he won the award for best actor in a comedy for his role in The Disaster’s Artist — though he did make an appearance at the Screen Actors Guild Awards.
Sources have said the actor has been shaken by the allegations: “He’s in a really bad place,” a source close to the situation told PEOPLE. “His close friends are trying to be there for him.”
Echoed a second source, “This whole process has been very hard on him. He’s been shaken up.”