James Toback is the latest big name in Hollywood to be accused of sexual harassment.
In a scathing report posted by the L.A. Times on Sunday, 38 women have accused the Oscar winning writer-director of sexually harassing them. It is a behavior that they say has followed a very specific pattern.
It is reported that Toback targeted young women, usually in their 20s, and would approach them at various locations in New York City, including stores and parks.
He would go on to boast about his career, promise to make the young women famous, but first he would have to get to know them a little better. He would then request to meet with them. It was during these meetings, which were believed to be interviews or auditions, that Toback’s intentions became clear. The meetings would quickly grow sexual, with Toback using graphic language and describing his own sexual conquests before he would eventually begin asking humiliating personal questions. Some of the 38 women reported that Toback masturbated in front of them.
“I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends,” Adrienne LaValley told the L.A. Times. “And I deserved not to tell anyone.”
James Toback, 72, who is known for films such as Black and White (1999), Two Girls and a Guy (1998), and Bugsy (1991), is the latest in Hollywood to face such accusations. On October 5, a similar report posted by the New York Times alleged decades of sexual harassment and assault by producer Harvey Weinstein, who has since been fired from the Weinstein Company and removed from the Motion Picture Academy.
Toback denied the claims made by all 38 women, The Hollywood Reporter stated, saying that if he had met with any of the women, it “was for 5 minutes and I have no recollection.” He also went on to insist that it was “biologically impossible” for him to engage in any such behavior due to his diabetes and a heart condition that requires medication.