James Franco: Suit by "Bad" Former NYU Professor Should Be Tossed

James Franco is asking a judge to throw out on technical grounds a defamation lawsuit brought by his former NYU professor, claiming it is without merit.

By Josh Grossberg
|  Monday, Mar 4, 2013  |  Updated 11:36 AM EDT
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James Franco, pictured here at the Venice Film Festival screening of "Spring Breakers," has been accused by a former NYU professor for making "disparaging and inaccurate public statements" after receiving a poor grade.

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For James Franco, there's no place like home. Court, on the other hand, is another story.

The "Oz: The Great and Powerful" star is asking a judge to throw out on technical grounds a defamation lawsuit brought by his former NYU professor, claiming it is without merit.

In court documents filed in Manhattan Supreme Court and obtained by the New York Daily News, the 34-year-old Franco says the legal action brought by José Angel Santana should be dismissed because a process server never actually served the suit on him.

James Franco sued by ex-NYU professor, compared to Clint Eastwood's chair

According to the filing, the process server instead served the papers at a California address where the Oscar-nominated actor does not reside.

Santana previously filed a wrongful termination suit against NYU accusing the university of firing him unlawfully from his position at its Tisch graduate film school after he gave the thespian a D in his Directing the Actor II class--this after he reportedly showed up for only two out of the course's 14 sessions.

The prof then sued Franco for defamation after the latter told reporters he thought Santana was a "bad teacher," hence the reason for his absences.

In his response, however, Franco's lawyer said his client's comments were constitutionally protected freedom of speech regarding Santana's teaching abilities.

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