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24 October 2017, 12:40 | Donald Newman
More than 30 Women Accuse Oscar Nominee James Toback of Sexual Harassment
Although Toback is not a widely recognised name outside of the film community, his writing credits include "Tyson", "The Gambler", and "The Pick-Up Artist".
The Hollywood sexual abuse scandal widened Monday after 38 women were reported to have accused USA film director James Toback of unwanted sexual encounters over a period of decades.
The report alleged that Toback made "vulgar comments" and sometimes "rubbed himself against them" and masturbated in their vicinity. At those meetings, according to the women, Toback would steer the conversation in a sexual direction, boasting about famous women he'd slept with and asking embarrassing sexual questions; pubic hair was allegedly a common topic.
Toback, for what it's worth, has denied the allegations of all 38 women (31 of which were wiling to speak on the record in that Timesstory). 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.
The director's reputation was so well known among some Hollywood women that one accuser said "getting Toback-ed" became code for any sexual abuse "by a creepy writer-director". "I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends", LaValley added. One woman recounted the time when she met Toback at his NY home and he wouldn't let her leave until she grabbed his nipples and looked into his eyes while he masturbated. But eventually, she went to hotel room with Toback, where - despite her reservations - he persuaded her to get undressed, she said.
She claimed, "He told me he'd love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes". "He always wanted me to read for him in a hotel or come back to his apartment, like, 'How serious are you about your craft?'" "And the frightful thing is, whichever road you choose, whether you sleep with him or walk away, you're still broken".
The women Toback targeted ranged from aspiring actresses, women in the industry to people on the streets. "Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past thirty years".
After she undressed, Toback allegedly began rubbing his groin against her bare leg, at which point she grabbed her clothes and fled. When asked, "paralyzed", if she was trying to stimulate herself sexually, director replied that "Of course" and young girl ran away.
Toback's alleged sexual behavior was far from secret.
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