A bombshell report by the LA Times alleges that Oscar-nominated director James Toback has sexually harassed close to 40 women to over the course of his career.
The writer-director, who was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay in 1991 for Bugsy, is the subject of another exposé on sexual harassment in the film industry. A number of the women who came forward have remained anonymous, however the report does point to one well-known but unnamed actress who described an event that took place as recently as 2000. Another actress, Adrienne LaValley, graphically described a hotel room incident that took place in 2008.
In a lengthy Facebook post, Guardians of the Galaxy director James Gunn spoke about the accusations against Toback and said that Toback's methods of coercing and accosting women were well-known in New York in the '90s.
"I have personally met at least FIFTEEN WOMEN, probably more, who say that he's accosted them in NYC. He essentially goes up to women and says, "Hey, I'm James Toback, and I'm a famous director, and I feel like there's a connection between us." Then he shows them some article on himself or some other artifact to prove he is who he is, and tries to get them to go somewhere else with him," said Gunn.
"He has done this to three girls I’ve dated, two of my very best friends, and a family member... twice. Yes, he came up to her twice with the same stupid line, not realizing she was the same person. This is in addition to many other women I've talked to at parties or dinners about their interactions with Toback."
This isn't the first time Toback has been accused of sexual harassment, either. A 1989 article in Spy Magazine detailed Toback's methods of picking up women, which often involved him carrying a cut-out of an article about himself or his Director's Guild Of America card and trying to coerce them to come back to a hotel room for a private audition.
For his part, Toback has denied the accusations levelled against him in the LA Times report, saying that for the past 22 years, it has been "biologically impossible" for him to engage in the behaviour described by his accusers, owing to his medical condition.
Via LA Times