Actress Bijou Phillips has apologized to “Mean Girls” star Daniel Franzese, who accused Phillips of body-shaming and physically assaulting him on the set of the 2001 indie movie “Bully.”
“I want to write to address what Daniel has said,” the actress told TMZ. “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.”
She added, “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.”
On Saturday, Franzese took to Facebook to share his experience with on-set homophobia and abusive behavior in light of Ellen Page coming forward to tell her experience with Brett Ratner on the set of the “X-Men” movies.
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LOS ANGELES, CA - MAY 20: Daniel Franzese attends Gay Men's Chorus Of Los Angeles 6th Annual Voice Awards at JW Marriott Los Angeles at L.A. LIVE on May 20, 2017 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jerritt Clark/WireImage)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - MAY 13: Daniel Franzese arrives at Buzzfeed Hosts 1st Inaugural Queer Prom For LGBT Youth Los Angeles at Siren Studios on May 13, 2017 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by Gabriel Olsen/FilmMagic)
LOS ANGELES, CA - DECEMBER 06: Daniel Franzese arrives at the Actors Fund's 2016 Looking Ahead Awards at the Taglyan Complex on December 6, 2016 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Jennifer Lourie/Getty Images)
HOLLYWOOD, CA - DECEMBER 15: Daniel Franzese and Joseph Bradley Phillips arrive at the Opening Night of The Lincoln Center Theater's Production Of Rodgers and Hammerstein's 'The King and I' at the Pantages Theatre on December 15, 2016 in Hollywood, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
BEVERLY HILLS, CA - DECEMBER 04: Actor Daniel Franzese and Joseph Bradley Phillips arrive at the TrevorLIVE Los Angeles 2016 Fundraiser at The Beverly Hilton Hotel on December 4, 2016 in Beverly Hills, California. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)
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NEW YORK, NY - JULY 18: Daniel Franzese (L) and Joseph Bradley Phillips attend the New York Premiere of 'Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie' at SVA Theater on July 18, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rob Kim/FilmMagic)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 27: Actor Daniel Franzese attends The Elizabeth Taylor AIDS Foundation Hosts HIV Testing Event at The Abbey on June 27, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Tommaso Boddi/WireImage)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 26: Actor Daniel Franzese arrives on the blue carpet for the premiere of 'Looking' at the Castro Theatre on June 26, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO)
SAN FRANCISCO, CA - JUNE 26: Actors Frankie J. Alvarez (L) and Daniel Franzese (R) arrive on the blue carpet for the premiere of 'Looking' at the Castro Theatre on June 26, 2016 in San Francisco, California. (Photo by FilmMagic/FilmMagic for HBO)
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“On my first film BULLY I was harassed by Bijou Phillips the entire shoot,” he wrote. “She body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me.”
Franzese said that the actress would loudly say, “Are you gay?” although he was still closeted at the time. The actor added that when he told her he was bi, she would say, “Oh look! The Bi guy is here!”
“Later on in the production I had a scene where my character had to take his shirt off,” he added. “It was an extremely vulnerable moment for me because I was not at all the type of guy comfortable with taking my clothes off in front of anyone at that point in my life. I was the chubby kid who wore his shirt in the pool. So I take my shirt off in the scene and she breaks character and she pointed at my body and at the top of her lungs yelled ‘Ewwww gross!!!’ She laughed and pointed at me and continued to berate me. they call cut and I had to walk off set to collect myself.”
On another occasion, Franzese said Phillips “grabbed my nipple and twisted it hard through my shirt and laughed and walked away.” She also once wiped her dirty feet on Franzese’s neck, he wrote.
“It was such a blessing to get a foot into Hollywood’s door but I was greeted at that door with homophobia, body shaming and abuse,” he concluded. “The way I was treated in that hostile work environment gave me a PTSD that had me stay closeted for a long time.”
A spokesperson for Franzese has not yet responded to TheWrap’s request for comment, although he tweeted that he forgave Phillips and accepted her apology.
“We’ve all been hurt and we’ve all hurt someone,” he wrote to Phillips. “I accept your apology on the grace you can afford the same mercy to someone else one day.
Thread: I forgive @BijouPhillips because I don’t know her private story either. I shared this story only to bring light to a dark memory.