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James Toback: Hollywood engulfed in fresh sex scandal

James Toback, writer of the 1974 film
James Toback, writer of the 1974 film "The Gambler" as well as an executive producer of a new re-make, poses at the premiere of the film at AFI Fest 2014 on Monday, Nov. 10, 2014, in Los Angeles. Photo by Chris Pizzello - Invision - AP

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.

Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with directors James Toback (left) and Brett Rattner. Picture: Instagram
Foreign Minister Julie Bishop with directors James Toback (left) and Brett Rattner. Picture: Instagram

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."

Former world heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson (left) and director James Toback attend a special screening of 2009 film Tyson in New York. Picture: Supplied
Former world heavyweight champion boxer Mike Tyson (left) and director James Toback attend a special screening of 2009 film Tyson in New York. Picture: Supplied

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?'"

Veruca Salt rocker Louise Post claims she first met James Toback in 1987. Picture: Supplied
Veruca Salt rocker Louise Post claims she first met James Toback in 1987. Picture: Supplied

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.

Terri Conn said she was 23 when James Toback approached on the street in New York and asked her to meet him in Central Park. Picture: Rob Rich/Splash News
Terri Conn said she was 23 when James Toback approached on the street in New York and asked her to meet him in Central Park. Picture: Rob Rich/Splash News

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.

Lupita Nyong'o Details Chilling Encounter with Harvey Weinstein

This story originally appeared in The Sun and has been republished here with permission.

Topics:  editors picks harvey weinstein hollywood james toback misogyny rape sexual assault sexual harassment



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