Franco first met LiLo when she starred alongside him in R.E.M.'s video for track Blue - which he directed in February 2011.
Speaking to MTV News, he explained how himself and Lindsay struck up a close friendship after the shoot but have now drifted apart.
The 34-year old said: "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 okay. We'd have conversations on the phone, and she seemed like she was doing okay…
"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."
Referring to her recent legal troubles and arrest for assault, Franco added: "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."
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