Before Daniel Franzese starred Damian in the box-office hit “Mean Girls,” alongside Rachel McAdams and Lindsay Lohan, the actor was dealing with his own mean girl on another set.
During the making of the 2001 independent film, “Bully,” Franzese states that he was, in fact, bullied by his co-star, Bijou Phillips.
In a Facebook post published on the actor’s page this past Saturday, the star discusses the homophobic and body shaming remarks that Phillips used to spew at him while on set.
"She body shamed me and ridiculed me about my sexuality and physically assaulted me. 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,” Franzese said. “As we were shooting she kept loudly saying 'Are you gay?!' and laughing while the producers and photographer did nothing to stop her."
Philips has come forward this week to tell her side of the story and apologize to Franzese for something she was completely unaware of doing.
"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,” Philips told TMZ. “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.”
Franzese, who didn’t publicly come out until 2014, said the experience was especially traumatizing due to him still being unsure of his sexuality around the time.
“She continued to say ‘Are You Gay?!’ Like 10 times making sure to be loud enough for everyone to hear,” Franzese said. “I reluctantly told her i was bi (...) ‘Q’ wasn’t known to be an option yet and to be honest I don’t know that I had many gay experiences at the time my life. The way I was treated in that hostile work environment gave me a PTSD that had me stay closeted for a long time.”
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