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Yes, it’s true. Actor James Franco admitted he reached out to a 17-year-old girl on Instagram, but was he being a total creep, or did Franco just outsmart us all?

Yesterday, screenshots surfaced of a conversation between James and 17-year-old Scottish tourist Lucy Corde. The photos showed Franco doing his best to convince the girl (who is a minor, but technically the legal age of consent in the state) to rendezvous after the two met outside the theater showing his play “Of Mice and Men.”

Lucy was spotted taking video of Franco outside the theater, prompting him to shout, “You’ve gotta tag me.” She complied, tagging the actor in his video, leading the 35-year-old to message the young woman about finding a hotel room together.

James was quick to admit to his participation in the incident during his appearance on Live With Kelly and Michael.

“I’m embarrassed,” he admitted. “I guess I’m just a model about how social media’s tricky. It’s a way people meet each other today, but what I’ve learned is you don’t know who’s on the other end. I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson.”

Bad judgment, yes, but it is now widely believe the ‘creepy’ chat may have been a well-planned publicity stunt! In his latest movie, Palo Alto, Franco plays a teacher with an interest in one of his students.

James was tweeting about the film earlier this week, before the screenshots hit the Internet. It has not yet been confirmed nor denied, but we’re crossing our fingers that’s what’s going on.

Check out the trailer for Palo Alto, which hits theaters May 9, above.

SOURCE: L.A. Times, ABC News

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