In the wake ongoing allegations against disgraced Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein, a new report accuses film director James Toback of sexually harassing dozens of women for decades, including aspiring actresses, co–workers, and complete strangers.
In an investigative report by the Los Angeles Times published on Saturday, 38 women accused the director of films including The Pick–Up Artist, The Big Bang, Two Girls and a Guy, and recently, The Private Life Of A Modern Woman, of sexually harassing them in hotel rooms, public parks, movie trailers, and other locations under the guise of helping them with their careers.
As the report described those encounters:
During these meetings, many of the women said, Toback boasted of sexual conquests with the famous and then asked humiliating personal questions. How often do you masturbate? How much pubic hair do you have? He’d tell them, they said, that he couldn’t properly function unless he “jerked off” several times a day. And then he’d dry-hump them or masturbate in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or onto their bodies and then walk away. Meeting over.
None of the women who spoke with the Times for the story reported to police the allegations, which Toback denies. Most spoke with the newspaper on the record.
Toback, 72, responded by saying it was “biologically impossible” that the events could have happened as described due to medications he was taking for various health conditions.
Similar allegations previously had been reported by Spy magazine in 1989 and later, by Gawker.
Included among the many accounts, New York drama teacher, actor, and playwright Karen Sklaire told the newspaper that she had invented a special verb to use anytime descriptions of harassment by a “creepy writer–director” were mentioned: She called it being “Toback–ed.”
Veruca Salt guitarist and vocalist Louise Post also said she was targeted back in 1987.
Some common threads appear to exist among the many stories, including Toback’s habit of name–dropping, the claim that the harassment was part of acting exercises or auditions, and claims Toback made that he was linked to the mob and had killed people.