David Letterman Tells James Franco Why He Kicked Director Harmony Korine Off His Show, Claims Korine Was "Going Through" Meryl Streep's Purse

Celebrity News Mar. 27, 2013 AT 12:20PM
James Franco visits "The Late Show with David Letterman," asking Dave why Harmony Korine was banned from the show. James Franco visits "The Late Show with David Letterman," asking Dave why Harmony Korine was banned from the show. Credit: Jeff Neira/CBS; Jason Merritt/Getty (inset)

James Franco, P.I. The Spring Breakers actor visited Late Show with David Letterman on Monday, March 25 and got to the bottom of a legend that his Spring Breakers director and good friend, Harmony Korine, was banned from the Late Show after being kicked out in October 1999.

"The legend is that he pushed Meryl Streep backstage," Franco, 34, said. "I mean, if you push Meryl Streep backstage you get kicked off."

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"Is that what he told you happened?" David Letterman, 65, asked. 

"He did tell me that. But he said that he was a little out of it," Franco said. "Harmony is a very sane guy now. He's a great artist, he's a great person to work with. I think he had a period where he was going a little off the rails, so maybe he was on something that night . . . but we're talking about 10 years ago."

"Is he coming back on, have you talked to him?" Letterman asked.

"I heard he was banned from the show!" Franco said. "You should bring him back on!"

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What really happened?

"I went upstairs to greet Meryl Streep and say, 'Welcome to the show,'" Letterman recalls. "She was not in there, and I looked around and I found your friend Harmony going through her purse."

"Come on," Franco said in disbelief.

"True story!" Letterman said. "So I said, 'OK, that's it. Put her things back in her bag and then get out of here'"

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When asked about his alleged banning in a recent interview with Huffington Post Live, Korine, 40, confessed, "I was pretty out of it back then, so I guess anything is possible. Honestly, I have no recollection."

But Letterman said he'd be "more than happy" to have Korine back on his show now, and the director told Huffington Post he'd "do it in a second if they ask me back."

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