This weekend, openly gay actor Daniel Franzese accused Bijou Phillips of homophobic bullying and fat-shaming while co-starring together in the 2001 murder drama Bully. The actress has since publicly responded, with Franzese accepting the Bijou Phillips apology.
In a public Facebook post inspired by actress Ellen Page’s recent story about the homophobic abuse she allegedly received the hands of X-Men 3 director Brett Ratner, Franzese claimed that Phillips had routinely body-shamed him on the Bully film set, repeatedly ridiculed him publicly and even physically assaulted him.
“I love the movie and my other cast mates and crew, but Bully was one of the most stressful experiences of my life on or off a set, and it was my first one,” he said.
I want to write to address what Daniel has said. I don’t remember that time well, those years are a blur. I was a teenager and reckless in my behavior. I know Daniel to be a trustworthy and honest person, and to find out through social media that I was not the friend I thought I was to him made me so sad. I am so mortified by this behavior and have contacted Daniel and apologized to him privately. I am not and never have been homophobic. I have nothing but love for the LGBTQ community and Daniel.
In a Twitter stream, Franzese said that he accepted Phillips’ apology and hoped that she would consider making a donation to The Trevor Project, a group dedicated to preventing LGBTQ youth suicide.
I forgive @BijouPhillips because I don’t know her private story either. I shared this story only to bring light to a dark memory. It was 18 years ago. She has sent me an apology I accept. It would be nice to see her make a donation to @TrevorProject or something. This is not the only tale of horror or horrible people I have been around in the film industry. I’m not a perfect person by any means but I always try to treat people with respect. Especially as an adult. Hopefully we can move forward into a future where film sets are a more professional environment. We’ve all been hurt and we’ve all hurt someone. I accept your apology on the grace you can afford the same mercy to someone else one day.
Franzese is best known for playing a gay teen in the 2004 comedy Mean Girls and for portraying an HIV-positive San Francisco resient in the second season of the HBO series Looking.