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James Franco has opened up about his friendship with Lindsay Lohan, insisting he has tried to help the actress but has failed to keep her out of trouble.

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The actor has known Lohan for many years, and they teamed up in 2011 to shoot a video for R.E.M. The video for the band's song "Blue," which was directed by Franco, didn't emerge until this year, and the actor says he grew close to Lohan around the time they shot the film last February.

He tells, "Lindsay and I had reconnected at that time. I had been writing some poems about the Chateau Marmont (hotel in Los Angeles), and one or two of the poems involved Lindsay. ... I've known Lindsay for a while. It was at a moment where it seemed like she was doing OK. ... We'd have conversations on the phone, and she seemed like she was doing OK... I haven't talked to her in a long time because it seemed like she was getting into some more trouble. I've tried to help her."

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Lohan, who has been in and out of jail and rehab over the last few years, attempted to stage a 2012 career comeback, but her fortunes took a turn for the worse amid a series of fresh legal troubles, and Franco admits he feels sorry for the troubled star.

He adds, "I think one of the reasons it's so hard is when she gets in trouble, she gets all this attention and I'm sure she gets book offers. Like, she goes to jail, and instead of feeling like I really hit a low place, she'll get a crazy offer for her jail memoir."

Lohan's probation from a theft charge was recently revoked amid allegations that the actress lied to police officers after crashing her Porsche in June, and she could face a year behind bars.

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