More than 30 women have come forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment. The Los Angeles Times broke the story, which is based on interviews with accusers whose accounts take place over several decades.
Toback, 72, has denied all allegations, telling the Times that he has either never met any of the women or, if he has, it “was for five minutes and have no recollection”; he also says it’s been “biologically impossible” for him to do anything he’s been accused of for the last 22 years due to diabetes and a heart condition.
31 of the 38 women spoke on the record about Toback, whose films include “The Gambler” and “The Pick-up Artist.” His most recent movie, “The Private Life of a Modern Woman,” stars Sienna Miller and premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival.
Many of the stories revolve around Toback allegedly meeting a young woman on the street, where he would speak to her about the possibility of acting in one of his films. Then, several of his accusers say, he would invite them to a hotel room, where the ostensible interview quickly turned sexual.
“He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes,” said Louise Post, who says she met Toback in 1987, when she was in college, and now plays in the band Veruca Salt. “Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible,” she added.
“It’s a common thread among many women I know … after someone mentions they were sexually abused by a creepy writer-director, the response is, ‘Oh, no. You got Toback-ed,’” said actor, drama teacher, and playwright Karen Sklaire, who says she had a similar encounter with Toback. “The numbers are staggering.” Read the full story here.