James Toback: Who is the latest Hollywood mogul accused of sexual harassment?

The meetings would often end with Toback masturbating in front of them or dry-humping them

Just a week after the viral #MeToo campaign, another Hollywood boss has been accused of sexual harassment spanning decades.

This time, The Los Angeles Times has reported that writer and director James Toback has sexually harassed 38 women.

It has been alleged that he approached both young and upcoming actresses, talking up his connections and access to big names.

The meetings, sometimes billed as auditions, would often end with either questions of a personal or sexual nature or with Toback masturbating in front of them, or dry-humping them.

He has denied the allegations.


So, who is he?

While less known than producer Harvey Weinstein, Toback has had a four-decade long career in Hollywood.

He is best known for writing the 1991 film Bugsy — starring Hollywood stalwart Warren Beatty — which scored him an Oscar nomination.

He has worked with several big Hollywood names through his writing and directing, including Mark Wahlberg (The Gambler), Robert Downey Jr and Molly Ringwald (The Pick-up Artist) and Harvey Keitel (Fingers).

He also directed the 2008 documentary Tyson about the life of former heavyweight boxing champion Mike Tyson.

His latest film starring Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin (The Private Life of a Modern Woman) debuted at the Venice Film Festival in September.

Who are the women who have made the allegations?

Of the 38 women who made the accusations, 31 spoke to the Times on the record.

They include actress Adrienne LaValley who alleged Toback rubbed himself against her.

Echo Danon, who worked on Toback’s film Black and White, said he put his hands on her and said he would ejaculate if she looked at his eyes and pinched his nipples.

She said: “Everyone wants to work, so they put up with it.”

Veruca Salt guitarist and singer Louise Post and actress Terri Conn (As the World Turns) have also spoken out.


What’s the response been so far?

Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn has written a lengthy Facebook post on the allegations.

He said he knows at least 15 women who have had similar experiences, including a member of his family, and said he had been bringing up Toback’s name at every chance he could.

“I couldn’t stop him, but I could warn people about him,” he said.

“Recently, I thought the guy had disappeared into obscurity and old age, but then I saw an article in the Huffington Post about him, entitled, ‘James Toback Gets Us, He Truly Gets Us’. I almost vomited.

“… So since then I’ve been hoping the Weinstein/O’Reilly stuff would bring this vampire into the light [him and a couple others, frankly].

Director Paul Fieg (Bridesmaids) also took to social media to share his thoughts.

And actress Rose McGowan, who has led the charge against Harvey Weinstein, tweeted her take.  

What has Toback said in response to the story?

The 72-year-old has denied the allegations.

He told the Los Angeles Times he never met any of the women, and if he had it “was for five minutes and [I] have no recollection”.

Source: abc.net.au