6:53am PT by Ashley Lee
James Franco Apologizes for Instagram Chat With Underage Girl: 'I'm Embarrassed' (Video)
James Franco keeps himself busy with countless artistic pursuits simultaneously, but he was caught unknowingly pursuing an underage girl via Instagram this week, as screenshots of their conversation surfaced online.
His alleged exchanges with a 17-year-old Scottish fan revealed that she met the actor on Tuesday on the street, after a preview of the Broadway play Of Mice and Men, in which Franco is starring. Franco spotted her video post, and the two got to know each other through the app's messaging function. A message attributed to be from him asks, "What's the hotel? ... Should I rent a room?"
Although the girl's Instagram account has been deleted, Franco tweeted on Wednesday, "I'M NOT! I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you."
He acknowledged -- and apologized -- for the incident first thing during an appearance on Live! With Kelly and Michael on Friday.
"I was feeling awkward -- I didn't want to come on the show and just feel awkward," he said. "I'm embarrassed, and I guess I'm just a model of how social media is tricky. It's a way that people meet each other today, but what I've learned -- I guess because I'm new to it -- is you don't know who's on the other end. You get a feel for them, you don't know who you're talking to. I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson."
Franco continued: "Unfortunately, in my position -- I mean, I have a very good life, but not only do I have to go through 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."
Host Kelly Ripa joked to Franco, "I promise I won't reveal our text messages."
Either coincidentally or strategically, Franco's Palo Alto -- co-starring Emma Roberts and playing at the Tribeca Film Festival -- is about a secret affair between a high school soccer player and her coach.
On a lighter note, Franco retraced the roots of his spoofs with Seth Rogen of Kim Kardashian and Kanye West's "Bound 2" video and Vogue cover.
"I was actually gonna be Kim, and then, on the morning that we did it, Rogen said, 'No, it'd be funnier if I did it, and I had my shirt off!'" said Franco, who also noted that West called them afterward. "It was a surreal conversation -- he's the sweetest guy, and he actually had a proposal for us for the next chapter ... it involves Paris and his wedding. I don't think it will ever happen. I would've done it just to be around that wedding!"
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