Director James Toback accused of sexual harassment

Adjust Comment Print

Now, 38 women have come forward to accuse Oscar nominated writer-director James Toback of sexual harassment-most of them going on the record to describe a pattern of encounters that involve Toback allegedly offering parts in his movies, asking them intrusive questions, and inviting them to secluded places to ask for sexual favors.

He'd tell women he could make them a star, then, in a hotel room or a public park, meetings framed as interviews or auditions quickly turned sexual, the 38 women told The Times in separate interviews.

He would then allegedly dry-hump them or masturbate in front of them, ejaculating into his trousers or onto their bodies and then walk away.

A cascade of accounts by women of sexual abuse has flooded social media under the hashtag #MeToo since a similar scandal surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein erupted earlier this month. The director, who is now 72 years old, claimed it has always been "biologically impossible" for him to do some of the acts described because he's been on medication for diabetes and a heart condition. His 1987 film The Pick-Up Artist, starring Robert Downey, Jr.

"I felt like a whore, a disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends". But eventually, she went to hotel room with Toback, where - despite her reservations - he persuaded her to get undressed, she said.

Toback denied the allegations, telling the Times he had never met the women or if he did it "was for five minutes and have no recollection".

"He told me he'd love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes", Post told the Los Angeles Times. "He always wanted me to read for him in a hotel or come back to his apartment, like, 'How serious are you about your craft?' And the awful thing is, whichever road you choose, whether you sleep with him or walk away, you're still broken".

Journalist Sari Kamin wrote a Medium post last week claiming Toback sexually harassed her in 2003, when she was a 23-year-old aspiring actress. "Today, I cried for the first time since then about it", she told the Times.

Toback allegedly approached her in a Kinko's and asked her to dinner. Toback's alleged M.O. was so depressingly monotonous that the magazineran his accusers' stories in a giant four-page foldout table, with column headers like "The Credentials", "Pitching the Project", and "Trust Me". Eight of the 12 movies Toback has directed were released after the Spy article; two were released after the Gawker articles.