James Toback: Hollywood engulfed in fresh sex scandal
MORE than 30 women have accused a Hollywood film director and writer of sexual harassment in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal.
James Toback, 72, is alleged to have harassed 38 women by dry-humping their legs, masturbating in front of them, and ejaculating in his trousers.
The shocking allegations were first reported by the Los Angeles Times, which claimed the director convinced women to meet him under the impression it was an interview or audition.
Toback, who got an Oscar nomination for writing Bugsy, has denied the allegations.
Thirty-one of the women spoke on the record including musician Louise Post, who is a guitarist and vocalist for the band Veruca Salt, and As the World Turns actress Terri Conn.
Several women alleged that these meetings took place in his hotel room and that Toback would name-drop star actors he was working with to entice them.
He is alleged to have told them that he could make them famous if they trusted him.
One alleged victim, whose identity remains anonymous, said she believed she would be auditioning for Toback when he invited her to his hotel room in 2000.
He allegedly told her that she needed to display the sexual confidence the acting role required and suggested she get undressed.
She said she told him that she felt uncomfortable and that he responded by saying: "That's the whole point of this exercise."
Eventually she took off her jumper but began to cry as she read lines from the monologue he had given her.
She claimed that he blocked the hotel room door when she tried to leave and told her that he needed to ejaculate.
He instructed her to pinch his nipples and look into his eyes as he pressed himself against her and finished in his trousers.
Another alleged victim was aspiring actress Starr Rinaldi who alleged that she was approached by Toback in New York's Central Park 15 years ago.
She said: "He always wanted me to read for him in a hotel or come back to his apartment. [He said things] like, 'how serious are you about your craft?'"
None of the women detailed in the article contacted police for fear of recriminations and some claimed Toback had threatened them. He told the newspaper that he denied the allegations made against him.
Toback cited health difficulties, including diabetes and a heart condition, as to why it was "biologically impossible" for him to have committed the acts of sexual harassment.
Louise Post, who now works as a musician in the band Veruca Salt, said she met the film director while she was a student in 1987.
She said: "He told me he'd love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes."
The former Barnard College student added: "Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible."
The actress Echo Danon said that she encountered Toback while in his trailer on the set of his movie Black and White, which was released in 1999.
She alleged that as he touched her thighs he said: "If you look into my eyes and pinch my nipples, I'm going to come in my pants right now."
Terri Conn said she was 23 when Toback approached on the street in New York and asked her to meet him in Central Park.
She said he then took her to a remote part of the park where he knelt down and began dry-humping her leg.
She said: "I was shocked and frozen and didn't know what to do. I thought if I resisted, it could get worse. He could overpower me."
Numerous women have alleged that well-known film producer Weinstein sexually assaulted them following initial reports published this month by the New York Times and the New Yorker.
The Sun Online has contacted Toback for comment.
This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.