Is screenwriter James Toback batting for 1000 sexual harassment allegation? So far he is nearly at the 400 mark and counting. The Movie maker says he is innocent of the allegations
In the first week of 2018, the Los Angeles County district attorney’s office announced that it was reviewing five investigations into accusations of sexual misconduct against filmmaker James Toback.
Shortly after accounts of Harvey Weinstein’s decades of alleged sexual harassment broke in the New York Times and the New Yorker, five women outed Toback on Twitter, using the #MeToo hashtag. Within days, that list grew to more than three dozen, at least 30 of whom were willing to go on the record.
to date the “Two Girls and a Guy” director, 72, has been accused of sexual assault and harassment by more than nearly 400 women, including Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams , Julianne Moore, as well as NBC host Natalie Morales.
“Grey’s Anatomy” star Ellen Pompeo did not take kindly to an inappropriate comment by disgraced filmmaker James Toback early in her career — in fact, the actress says she told him to “go f–k himself.”
Hypnotist Meg Register says James Toback seduced and abandoned her
Ellen Pompeo says James Toback once asked her to get naked in a movie, and she laughed in his face” and told him to “go f–k himself.”
Since then other victims have emerged to establish a four decade long pattern of predatory sexual behavior by the movie maker.
So far, 395 have opened up about writer-director Toback approaching them on the streets of Manhattan and Los Angeles, on trains and airplanes. Employing a near identical MO, Toback would tell his mark that he wanted to cast them in a movie, which often led to a range of unwanted, predatory sexual advances. According to NYDailynews the accusers, all women, have offered highly detailed accounts, and some shared physical evidence, such as journal entries, photographs of plane tickets, receipts, scraps of paper with Toback’s writing, to reporters.
Movie town icon James Toback speaks onstage at the Sixth Annual Norman Mailer Center and Writers Colony Benefit Gala in 2014 in New York City.
In the liberating atmosphere of #MeToo, some of the women were, some were still ashamed, others were angry, since many incidents involving Toback, have exceeded the statute of limitations.
Still there is a sense of relief that after years of acquiescence and silence their story is being told, albeit too late for tangible consequences
And, for many, speaking out is just the opening salvo in what they hope will be systemic change in every workplace, not just the entertainment industry.
Beverly Hills police have opened investigations into former tinsel town untouchables James Toback [left] and Harvey Weinstein [right] since November, 2017
Juast as the #MeToo movement became #TimesUp, on Monday, more than 300 powerful Hollywood women, including Reese Witherspoon, Shonda Rhimes and Kerry Washington, established an initiative to fight sexual harassment that includes a legal defense fund, a gender parity push and a largely successful push to have all women walking the red carpet at last night’s Golden Globes ceremony wear black.
Actress Selma Blair allegedly has received death threats since she came out with sexual assault allegations against James Toback
Rachel McAdams has also come forward with sexual harassment stories about James Toback.
Toback, 72, is issuing a flat denial, saying he’s diabetic and has a heart condition which makes it “biologically impossible” for him to engage in the behavior claimed by his accusers.
Toback has repeatedly called the women liars and saying he doesn’t even recall meeting some of them.
“It’s pathetic lies. It’s just too f–king embarrassing and idiotic,” he told a Rolling Stone reporter on Oct. 17.
“And if I were you, I wouldn’t go repeating it, unless you really knew it were true, because it isn’t. So that’s all I have to say. This is not worth wasting another second on,” the high powered movie maker told the reporter
Another “Grey’s Anatomy” star, Caterina Scorsone now 36, claimed she was sexually harassed by director James Toback when she was 17.
Many of the women to NYDailynews that speaking about their experience with Toback left them feeling vulnerable, but that the process was cathartic. And seeing other women declare their truth has empowered others to do the same.
“Courage begets courage,” said actress Dani Alvarado, who said she had a series of encounters with Toback in 2011. “After years of feeling like there would never be any repercussions, it’s been amazing to see the pendulum swing in a different direction.”
“When you have 38 women saying the same thing, suddenly you feel like what happened to you actually means something,” noted Kandiss Edmundson, who said she met Toback in 2001 when she was an aspiring actress. “It proves a pattern, which makes me feel like my story is valid. It’s real. No one can talk me out of the pain of it or downplay it or make me feel stupid or responsible or naive.”
“Shame keeps you silent,” added singer-actress Christine Hudman, who, like the others, said she had an encounter with Toback that was framed as an audition but turned sexual. “I’m not quite sure how to articulate what he took from me that day, but by saying this, I feel that I’m taking something back.”
Toback reportedly “prowled the streets of Manhattan” plying his craft. He would go up to attractive young women offering movie roles.
Most of the victims said they hadn’t spoken of their encounters with Toback since they occurred years earlier. Some hadn’t told their longtime spouses until now.. The trauma of the experiences ran too deep.
Several women related encounters with Toback that happened when they were underage. Many of the women wh all these years suppressed reliving the experience else saw it as an ‘eccentric rite of passage’, now say “What’s even more healing is the sense that people are finally listening.”