Following the very public outing of Harvey Weinstein as a sexual predator, more and more women have stepped forward to share their own stories of harassment and assault at the hands of other men in the film industry. One of those men is director James Toback, who was nominated for the Academy Award For Best Original Screenplay in 1991 for the Warren Beatty film Bugsy and who now stands accused of sexual harassment by nearly 40 women.
Toback’s skeeviness has been well documented going back all the way to a 1989 expose in Spy magazine, but a new report in The Los Angeles Times details the full extent of his behavior. Toback would approach women, tell them he was a famous director, and invite them to meet privately to discuss a role in one of his films; if they agreed, he would begin to ask them about their sexual habits, demand that they undress, rub himself against them, and masturbate in front of them.
One of the 38 women who described a similar encounter with the director was Veruca Salt’s Louise Post, who met Toback in 1987 when she was a student at Barnard College. “He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes,” she said. “Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible. Today, I cried for the first time since then about it. I was crying for the 20-year-old woman who lost something vital that day — her innocence.”
When contacted by The Times, Toback denied the allegations, saying that he had either never met any of the women in question, or if he did, it “was for five minutes and I have no recollection.”
— Veruca Salt (@verucasalt) October 16, 2017
This article originally appeared in Stereogum.