How James Franco's Relationship With Izabel Pakzad Changed Him For The Better

James Franco's career had many ups and downs following the controversies surrounding his behavior off the screen. In 2014, Lucy Clode, a 17-year-old teenage girl, accused him of hitting on her. The two exchanged messages on Instagram, and, according to Clode, the actor asked if she had a boyfriend. When she said, "No," the actor inquired about her phone number and asked whether he should book a hotel room. "I was like anybody, just trying to meet somebody. It's just that my dirty s*** gets put out internationally," Franco told Howard Stern. Four years later, five women accused him of inappropriate behavior with sexual overtones.

However, things changed after Franco met actress and film director Izabel Pakzad. Their romance started in 2017 and went public one year later when the two appeared together on the red carpet for the premiere of "Straight White Men." Over the next few years, they were spotted dining together, traveling as a couple, and having fun. The "Palo Alto" star says this relationship has improved his life, turning him into a devoted partner.

James Franco says he was a serial cheater before meeting Izabel Pakzad

In 2021, "The Deuce" alum paid a whopping $2.2 million to settle a sexual misconduct lawsuit against him. The allegations came from his former students at Studio 4, who accused him of engaging in explicit sex scenes as part of their education. Izabel Pakzad, James Franco's girlfriend, stood by him all the way through. Her love and support changed his life for the better, making him see the world differently. "I had girlfriends. I could never be faithful to anybody. I cheated on everyone before Izabel," the actor told "The Jess Cagle Podcast." Franco also blamed alcohol and sex addiction for his behavior behind the screen, saying he managed to overcome these issues.

The "Pineapple Express" star admits he was more selfish in his previous relationships. At some point, he was dating a woman who got scratched in the eye by his cat. But instead of taking her to the hospital, Franco asked his assistant to do it. "That moment haunted me so much. What kind of selfish, self-centered boyfriend are you?" he told Variety. The actor learned his lesson and didn't make that mistake again. When Pakzad got a throat infection, he went with her to the ER. 

If you or anyone you know needs help with addiction issues, help is available. Visit the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration website or contact SAMHSA's National Helpline at 1-800-662-HELP (4357). 

Their 15-year age gap didn't stand in their way to happiness

James Franco's dating history points to his preference for younger women. Over the years, the actor has reportedly dated Lindsay Lohan, Lana del Ray, Emilia Clarke, Erin Johnson, and other celebrities well under his age. His current girlfriend, Izabel Pakzad, was 24 when she met him. At that time, Franco was around 39 years old. However, their 15-year age gap doesn't seem to matter.

The "True Story" actor and his girlfriend share common passions like acting, traveling, and partying. Pakzad also has a career of her own, starring in several movies and TV series, including "The Deuce," "Baker's Dozen," and "American Social." Over the years, she worked for CBS Film, Sony Pictures, Warner Bros., and other entertainment studios.

In 2018, an anonymous source told ET that their relationship was doomed to fail, given the allegations against Franco. The actor was also trying to revive his career, leaving little time for romance. Luckily, Franco and Pakzad have overcome those challenges and found happiness together. "They aren't in a rush to get engaged, but they definitely see a future together. They are just enjoying this moment," another source told ET four years later.