June 19, 2018

Director James Toback 'accused of sexual harassment by 38 women'

24 October 2017, 12:58 | Marta Robbins

By James Hennessy

38 Women Have Accused Hollywood Director James Toback Of Sexual Misconduct

The Oscar nominated filmmaker and screenwriter James Toback has been accused of sexual harassment, with 38 women speaking on the record to the Los Angeles Times about incidents in which he allegedly offered them acting work in exchange for sexual favours.

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn says he's been telling anyone who would listen about fellow director James Toback and his alleged creepy come-ons. They said that most meetings with Toback were set up as professional interviews or auditions, but that they would quickly become sexual.

Toback denied the allegations to the Times, saying he had either never met his accusers or did so only briefly.

This comes after a bombsell report in The New York Times about sexual harassment accusations against Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein dating back decades. Criminal investigations are underway in London, New York and Los Angeles on the ex-tycoon in the film. The pieces prompted dozens of women, including Gwyneth Paltrow and Angelina Jolie, to publicly accuse Weinstein of abuse.

The indie rock band Veruca Salt used the hashtag to call out Toback on October 16.

None of the women, 38 in total who were interviewed by the LA Times, had approached the police.

Toback most recently wrote and directed "The Private Life of a Modern Woman" starring Sienna Miller, Alec Baldwin and Charles Grodin, according to IMDb.

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Numerous reports centre on Toback offering to give young actresses a boost in their career in exchange for something sexual, while others are situations where Toback approached them.

Another actress, Louise Post said "He told me he'd love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes".

Following the report in the LA Times, many industry giants have criticised Toback for his alleged behaviour. "I thought: Maybe if I told my story, there's an opportunity to prevent some women from being targeted".

Actor/comedian/radio host John Fugelsang tweeted "I had no idea James Toback objectified women until I watched like any of his movies from the past 20 years".

"He said that if he was going to cast me in a film that I would have to be comfortable with that", she said.

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.

"The way he presented it, it was like, 'This is how things are done.' I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends". Toback approached her with a copy of one his movies - "Two Girls and a Guy" - a business card and a pitch and told her "he felt a connection to me and wanted to put me in a film", she said.

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