Another Sexual Predator in Hollywood Faces Allegations

Oct 24, 2017, 00:42
Another Sexual Predator in Hollywood Faces Allegations

Oscar-nominated director James Toback has been accused of sexual harassment by 38 women, according to a report in the US.

According to the Los Angeles Times, the 72-year-old director sexually harassed women he hired, women looking for work and women he just saw on the street.

According to his accusers, Toback's strategy followed a similar pattern, him approaching them in NY stores, boasting about his reputation, showing them clippings and articles as proof, then promising to make them "stars" if they became intimate with him. He would then try to turn the meeting to sexual topics by asking inappropriate questions like, "How often do you masturbate?"

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Toback has denied the allegations, saying he either never met any of the 30-plus women who've accused him. or only had brief encounters with them. He stated that he doesn't remember meeting some of the women, and he also claimed that he's had a heart condition for 22 years that would have made it "biologically impossible" for him "to engage in the behavior described" by his accusers.

Weeks after a wave of sexual harassment allegations against producer Harvey Weinstein began, actresses are still coming forward while male Hollywood powerhouses are attempting to make amends for what they knew.

"I felt like a whore, a disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone". Alleged sexual harassment would then occur. In 2000, a New York Times article called it a chronicle of "Mr. Toback's own exploits as a pickup artist"; a 1997 profile in the Los Angeles Times noted, presumably as a compliment, that "his own libido is so legendary that Spy magazine once published a fold-out chart of his conquests". "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?'"

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The indie rock band Veruca Salt used the hashtag to call out Toback on October 16. "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". Several women said he inquired about their masturbation history and how they kept their pubic hair. When asked, "paralyzed", if she was trying to stimulate herself sexually, director replied that "Of course" and young girl ran away.

As The Associated Press notes: "Though less widely known than Weinstein, Toback has had a successful four-decade career in Hollywood and has a devoted following who have praised him for his originality and outsized, deeply flawed characters".

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