After Denying, James Franco Admits Hitting on Underage Girl (Video)

| by Michael Allen

Actor James Franco, 35, issued a strong denial yesterday after it was reported that he tried to hook up with a 17-year-old girl via Instagram.

Franco met Lucy Clode, a teen from Scotland, backstage after his Broadway play "Of Mice and Men" this week.

Clode and Franco made a quick video; he asked her to tag him. She did, and they later spoke on Instagram.

Franco asked Clode where she was staying, if she had boyfriend, if he should rent a room, and how old she was.

Clode turned him down by saying she would not turn 18 until May.

Franco later denied the incident (which was posted all over the web) on Twitter, saying, “I'M NOT! I HOPE PARENTS KEEP THEIR TEENS AWAY FROM ME. Thank you.”

However, this morning, Franco admitted that he had hit on the underage girl during an appearance on "Live with Kelly and Michael" (video below), reports Gawker.

“I didn’t want to come on the show and just feel awkward, but I’m embarrassed, and I guess I’m just a model of how social media is tricky,” said Franco.

“It’s a way people meet each other these days. What I’ve learned, because I’m new at it, is that you don’t know who’s on the other end,” added Franco.

However, Franco has been on Twitter for two years and has an Instagram account.

“I used bad judgement and I learned my lesson,” stated Franco, "But unfortunately, in my position, I have a very good life, but, not only do I have to go through the embarrassing kind of rituals of meeting someone, sometimes, if I do that, it gets published for the world. It's doubly embarrassing."

The Daily Mail reports that Franco didn't mention that Clode was half his age or that he worked fast to try to set up an apparent sexual rendezvous in a hotel.

Kelly Ripa then assured Franco, "It happens to everybody."

In a creepy coincidence, Franco stars in a new film, "Palo Alto" (trailer below), in which he plays a soccer coach in a relationship with a teen student.

Sources: Daily Mail and Gawker