More than 30 women have stepped forward to accuse director and screenwriter James Toback of sexual harassment in a report published Sunday morning by The Los Angeles Times.
Of the 38 women who spoke with the Times’ Glenn Whipp, 31 went on the record with their accusations of misconduct over the last several decades. Many of the stories were similar, with the women saying Toback lured them up to a room and then used explicit sexual language while describing a role before either dry-humping them or masturbating in front of them.
Actress Adrienne LaValley described how in 2008, her encounter ended with Toback trying to rub his crotch against her leg.
“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done,’” she said. “I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone.”
Louise Post, a guitarist for the indie rock band Veruca Salt who met Toback 30 years ago, said that the director told her he would “love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes.”
“Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible,” she added.
Toback’s representatives did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment, but Toback told the Times that he denied all the allegations, saying that he never met any of the women accusing him, or that if he did, their encounter “was for five minutes and have no recollection.”
He also said it was “biologically impossible” for him to commit those acts due to diabetes and heart conditions he has been taking medications for since 1995.
Toback, 72, is known for directing Robert Downey Jr. in three films: “The Pick-Up Artist,” “Black & White,” and “Two Girls and a Guy.”
In 1992, he received an Oscar and Golden Globe nomination for his screenplay for “Bugsy,” a 1991 biopic of mobster Bugsy Siegel starring Warren Beatty.
He also directed 1995’s “Tyson,” a sympathetic documentary about boxer and convicted rapist Mike Tyson.
According to the Times, Toback often listed his credentials when introducing himself to women.