More than thirty different women have accused director James Toback of sexual harassment according to a report published by The Los Angeles Times. He essentially goes up to women and says, 'Hey, I'm James Toback, and I'm a famous director, and I feel like there's a connection between us.' Then he shows them some article on himself or some other artifact to prove he is who he is, and tries to get them to go somewhere else with him.
A cascade of accounts by women of sexual abuse has flooded social media under the hashtag #MeToo since a similar scandal surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein erupted earlier this month.
"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. And I deserved not to tell anyone", she said.
The Times said it interviewed all 38 women who came forth separately - 31 of them on the record - as well as people they had spoken to about the incidents at the time. He also repeatedly claimed that for the last 22 years, it had been "biologically impossible" for him to engage in the behavior described by the women interviewed by The Times, saying he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication. He has vigorously denied the allegations telling the paper that he has no recollection of meeting the women but if he had it "was for five minutes". "This is in addition to many other women I've talked to at parties or dinners about their interactions with Toback".
So scary for women in Hollywood to deal with shit like this - let's just hope all the creeps keep being outed a la Harvey Weinstein, and one day, eventually, the film industry may become a far healthier space for women to work.
"In a weird sense, I thought, 'This is a test of whether I'm a real artist and serious about acting, '" remembered a former aspiring actress named Starr Rinaldi.
"Toback took me to a hotel and paid $600 in cash at the front desk", she continued. I didn't want to so I protested, but he looked at me with judging scorn and asked how I would ever be able to trust him as a director if I was going to be modest now. She needed to remove her clothes. The piece explored the way he allegedly harassed young actresses, though it referred to the women as "pickupees", not victims. Conn had just moved to New York City for a role in "As The World Turns". In 1989, Spy magazine wrote an account of several women who claimed they had experienced unwanted sexual encounters with him.
Travis M. Andrews wrote this story, (c) 2017 The Washington Post.
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