James Toback: 38 Women Accuse Director of Sexual Misconduct
James Toback, an Academy Award-nominated director/writer, has been accused of sexual harassment by 38 different women.
According to The Los Angeles Times, Toback would approach his alleged victims in all sorts of different settings, typically offering up his resume early on in order to impress them.
“In a hotel room, a movie trailer, a public park, meetings framed as interviews or auditions quickly turned sexual,” writes the publication.
It went on to detail how Toback would brag about his Oscar nomination (for the Warren Beatty film Bugsy) and how he claimed to have “invented” Robert Downey Jr. by directing him in a trio of films.
These disturbing allegations come on the heels of producer Harvey Weinstein also being accused of sexual harassment, misconduct and assault.
Referring to Toback, The Los Angeles Times writes:
“He prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their early 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler.
“He approached them in Central Park, standing in line at a bank or drug store or at a copy center while they worked on their resumes.”
Most of the woman who spoke to the newspaper went on the record with their encounters.
Take actress Adrienne LaValley, for example, who outlined a 2008 encounter in a hotel room:
“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done.”
She said Toback tried to rub his crotch against her leg and when she recoiled, he simply masturbated inside his pants.
“I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone,” she says now.
Adds Lousie Post, guitarist and singer for Veruca Salt:
“He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes.”
Altogether, the newspaper spoke to 38 women who leveled similar accusations against Toback; 31 of whom were willing to use their names.
In their retelling, the women said Toback boasted of sexual conquests with celebrities and then asked embarrassing personal questions of them, such as:
How often do you masturbate? How much pubic hair do you have?
He’d tell the woman that he couldn’t get a full erection unless he “jerked off” several times a day.
As described above, he would often then he’d dry-hump them or masturbate right in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or on to their bodies and then walk away.
Contacted by The Los Angeles Times for comment, Toback denied these allegations, saying that he had never met any of these women – or, if he did, it “was for five minutes and have no recollection.”
The director also alleged that it has been “biologically impossible” for him to engage the sort of behavior described here because he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication.
Toback declined to include more details.
As for Weinstein, over 40 women have come forward against him with stories of inappropriate behavior, ranging from sexual harassment to rape.
Through a spokeswoman, Weinstein has “unequivocally denied” all allegations of rape.
But he’s admitted to other instances of crossing the line and said he will seek professional assistance.