Daniel Franzese, the actor best known for his costarring role in the oft-quoted favorite “Mean Girls,” has accused “Bully” Bijou Phillips costar for physically assaulting him as they filmed the 2001 movie and demonizing him for being gay.
In a Facebook post that he said was inspired by Ellen Page’s similar tell-all, Franzese claimed that Phillips had free reign to criticize him for being overweight and question his sexuality without producers intervening.
“She body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me,” he wrote. “I was scared and closeted and feared for my job. It started with a lot of eye rolling whenever we spoke but escalated when we did a cast shoot for the poster. As we were shooting she kept loudly saying ‘Are you gay?!’ and laughing while the producers and photographers did nothing to stop her.”
When he finally told Phillips that he was bisexual, she allegedly told the entire cast. On another occasion, Phillips mocked Franzese during a scene that saw him have to remove his shirt.
He described another instance of body shaming that turned physical.
“She then grabbed my nipple and twisted it hard through my shirt and laughed and walked away,” he recalled. “I stopped talking to her for the rest of filming. When we shot one of our last scenes in a court room she was walking around barefoot and the bottom of her feet were black with dirt.”
“She was sitting behind me and kept rubbing her dirty feet on my neck. I kept swiveling the chair to move away from her and she kicked me as hard as she could in the back of the head. To this day I’m not ever sure if she gave me a concussion because I was light headed and dizzy for a while.”
Phillips, who is married to actor and alleged sexual abuser Danny Masterson, has yet to respond to Franzese’s claims. He says that his run-in with Phillips left him emotionally traumatized.
“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 wrote. “The way I was treated in that hostile work environment gave me a PTSD that had me stay closeted for a long time.”