Movies | October 23, 2017 10:02 am

38 Women Have Accused Director James Toback of Sexual Harassment

Women have begun talking about it in the wake of Harvey Weinstein allegations.

James Toback
VENICE, ITALY - SEPTEMBER 03: James Toback from 'The Private Life Of A Modern Woman' walks the red carpet ahead of the 'The Leisure Seeker (Ella & John)' screening during the 74th Venice Film Festival at Sala Grande on September 3, 2017 in Venice, Italy. (Photo by Venturelli/WireImage)

Thirty-eight women have come forward accusing director James Toback of sexual harassment, according to a new report by the Los Angeles TimesToback would approach women in Manhattan, usually in their 20s, in college, or even some teens, and brag about his accomplishments as a director. He promised to be able to make them a star.

But then, in hotel rooms, movie trailers, movie sets, public parks, the encounter would turn sexual. Toback would ask personal questions about the women’s bodies (How often do you masturbate? How much pubic hair do you have?) or he would masturbate in front of them, “dry hump” them, or not let them leave until they made eye contact while he ejaculated, the LA Times reports.

When contacted by the LA Times, Toback denied all allegations. He claimed he had never met any of the women, or it was “for five minutes and have no recollection.” The LA Times also reports that Toback said it would be “biologically impossible” for him to engage in the behavior described by these women, because he has diabetes and a heart condition.

Many of the women the LA Times spoke to said that Toback, now 72, would present it as “this is how things are done.” Actress Echo Danon told the LA Times “That’s why I put up with it. Because I was hoping to get another job.”

Though 31 of the 38 women spoke on the record, some still fear for their safety. Several of the women quit acting after their encounters with him, and many had not talked about it for years. But the Weinstein scandal hit, and it brought up long-repressed memories.

“Today, I cried for the first time since then about it,” musician Louise Post said to The LA Times. “I was crying for the 20-year-old woman who lost something vital that day — her innocence.”