Just a week after saying “I wish I was gay”, James Franco has addressed rumours about his sexuality by posting a series of fake paparazzi photographs on his Instagram in which he is kissing and holding hands with another man.

The 35-year-old Hollywood star left some fans confused, as he poked fun at those who may have speculated about his sexuality using the fake paparazzi-style images. The montage was created in a similar fashion to the way Perez Hilton, blogger, posts photographs about celebrity gossip.

The Oz the Great and Powerful actor posted the image to his Instagram, which was accompanied by the caption: “#Jamesfrancotv in love?????? #gawker.com #gay.”

Some fans were left confused, and took the image to mean that he was coming out as gay. Others celebrated, or joked that the star should dump the mystery man, and go out with them instead.

Franco also used the fake photographs with hand written notes over them, to address rumours about women he may or may not have been dating. A second image contained the tags: “#Jamesfrancotv in love?????? #gawker.com #gay.”

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Franco has starred in several movies exploring gay themes, such as Milk, where he played Harvey Milk’s partner, as well as Kink and Leather Bar, which premiered at the Sundance Film Festival this year.

In March, Franco addressed questions around his sexuality, and went on to say that he thinks it is time for high-profile actors in Hollywood to come out.

He said: “One of the things that’s very much part of my public image is the question of my sexuality. It’s not something that bothers me in the slightest. It hasn’t gone away and I get asked about it from all sides. It’s partly my doing and partly not my doing.”

Not the first time Franco has been subject to rumours in the media about his sexuality, in 2011, after rumours that he had been dating a man, he was falsely accused of assaulting him. Franco’s lawyers warned off two gossip magazines because no complaint was ever filed with the police, and the accuser later admitted he had ever met the star. 

Then, hinting at further gossip about his sexuality, he told the magazine: “I was in Milk, a movie I felt strongly about. Some more great rumours will be coming up.”

A long time advocate for gay rights, Franco has a history of taking on gay film roles, which has inevitably stoked curiosity about his sexuality. In a 2011 interview he said “maybe I’m just gay”.

Earlier this year, he teamed up with a gay art-porn director to produce and star in an indie film which re-imagines footage lost from the 1980 film Cruising which starred Al Pacino. Franco’s film, Cruising, premiered at the Sundance Film Festival in February.