Name: James Toback (updated 4/29/18)
Role: Hollywood screenwriter and director
Accusations: A total of 359 women have now accused Toback of sexual harassment, over a period of 4 decades. Most of the accusations amount to Toback masturbating in front of them (or on them – there a disturbingly high number of accusations that involve Toback dry-humping their leg).
38 of these women sat down for interviews with the Los Angeles Times’ Glenn Whipp for an expose he published on Oct 22, 2017 (see the Big Picture section, below). Within 24 hours, an additional 200 women had reached out to Whipp with their stories of Toback’s vulgar behavior toward them, which he published in a second story on Oct 23, 2017.
The Los Angeles Police Department said it has fielded numerous calls from women wanting to file criminal complaints against Toback.
Company Reaction: While Hollywood is disgusted, there doesn’t seem to be any one person, company or organization that could inflict serious consequences on Toback, so none have. He has, however, been dropped by his agent, Jeff Berg.
Toback’s Response: Toback categorically denies the allegations, saying it would be “biologically impossible” for him to have done everything he’s accused of, as he has diabetes and a heart condition. Rolling Stone’s Hillel Aron got a vociferous denial over the phone, which you can hear on the Response tab, below.
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“In a hotel room, a movie trailer, a public park, meetings framed as interviews or auditions quickly turned sexual. During these meetings, 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.”
38 Women Have Come Forward to Accuse Director James Toback of Sexual Harassment , The LA Times, by Glenn Whipp, Oct 22, 2017
200 More Women Share Their James Toback Stories, After 38 Accuse Director of Sexual Harassment, The LA Times, by Glenn Whipp, Oct 23, 2017
The majority of the accusations revolve around Toback masturbating in front of them – while she complies with his demand to pinch his nipples, while he looks into her eyes, while he watches her undress (saying it’s for an acting part), or just while he dry-humps her leg.
They’re all detailed in sordid detail in the article in the Big Picture section, but several have told their own stories in other outlets:
Sari Kamin, Medium, 10/16/17, “I am one of the countless women that filmmaker James Toback has harassed.”
Adrienne LaValley, actress
Starr Rinaldi, actress
Louise Post, guitarist & vocalist for Veruca Salt
Karen Sklaire, drama teacher
Anna Scott, LA radio reporter
Echo Danon, actress
Terri Conn, actress
Chantal Cousineau, actress
Ashly McQueen, flight attendant
Toback has now been dropped by his agent, Jeff Berg.
Toback emphatically denied all accusations, which he categorically called “pathetic lies” in his (brief) interview with Rolling Stone reporter, Hillel Aron.
What’s most interesting about Toback’s denial is the way he somehow manages to portray himself both as an angry, affronted man of integrity as well as a self-pitying victim who all these despicable people are just ganging up on.
Who else have we heard exhibiting this tone, hmmm…..? (see Donald Trump)