After the rumours of James Franco attempting to pick up a 17-year-old girl online started circulating earlier this week, fans of the actor (and there are certainly many of them) hoped that it wasn’t true. Today Franco himself has come out with a statement on the matter, released via live TV, as you do.

James Franco
True or not, this story might leave a pretty big dent in Franco's reputation.

"I'm embarrassed," Franco said on Live with Kelly and Michael. "I guess I'm just a model of how social media is tricky. It's a way people meet each other today." He added, "I used bad judgment and I learned my lesson."

Watch Franco walking the red carpet at the Tribeca Film Festival 2013.

:Well, that’s it for that then. It sounds like Franco’s relationship with the then 17-year-old Lucy Clove never moved past social media, so that’s something good about this story, at least. Also, several sites have speculated that the entire story might have been a hoax, engineered by Franco’s team to promote his next movie, Palo Alto, in which he plays a soccer coach, preying on an underage girl. If there is any truth to that, however, someone on the marketing thing might have to think about a new career path – the topic is a pretty bad one to appropriate for sales purposes. More on this (maybe) as the story develops.

James Franco
Could this all turn out to be a hoax in the end? Have we been suckered into a massive promotional scheme?

Read More: James Franco Hasn't Smoked Weed With Seth Rogen.

Read More: James Franco Denies Being On Lindsay Lohan's Ex List.