The Los Angeles Times Tells The Story Of Women Allegedly Assaulted By James Toback
As you probably imagined, Harvey Weinstein isn’t the only dirty old man in Hollyweird. The Los Angeles Times interviewed 38 women who share director James Toback as their nightmare in common. The 72-year-old director of ‘Black and White’ and ‘Two Girls And A Guy’ used his credentials to win the trust of young aspiring actresses, many of whom agreed to meet with him in hopes of winning roles but ultimately discovered he had more sinister motives.
“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done,'” actress Adrienne LaValley said of a 2008 hotel room encounter that ended with Toback trying to rub his crotch against her leg. When she recoiled, he stood up and ejaculated in his pants. “I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone.”
“In a weird sense, I thought, ‘This is a test of whether I’m a real artist and serious about acting,'” remembered Starr Rinaldi, who was an aspiring actress when Toback approached her in Central Park about 15 years ago. “He always wanted me to read for him in a hotel or come back to his apartment, like, ‘How serious are you about your craft?'”
That’s manipulation, pure and simple.
“He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes,” said Louise Post, who met Toback in 1987 while attending Barnard College. Post, now a guitarist and vocalist for the indie rock band Veruca Salt, added: “Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible.”
“It’s a common thread among many women I know … after someone mentions they were sexually abused by a creepy writer-director, the response is, ‘Oh, no. You got Toback-ed,'” said Karen Sklaire, a New York drama teacher, actor and playwright who said a 1997 meeting with Toback in an office ended with him grinding against her leg. “The numbers are staggering.”
“The more time you spend with him, the weirder it gets until it’s like just like one giant red flag,” said Los Angeles radio reporter Anna Scott.
In his trailer on the set of “Black and White,” Toback knelt in front of actress Echo Danon and, she says, put his hands on her thighs, telling her, “If you look into my eyes and pinch my nipples, I’m going to come in my pants right now.” She resisted. She felt helpless. Eventually he backed down.
“Everyone wants to work, so they put up with it,” Danon said. “That’s why I put up with it. Because I was hoping to get another job.”
When contacted by The Times, Toback denied the allegations, saying that he had never met any of these women or, if he did, it “was for five minutes and have no recollection.” He also repeatedly claimed that for the last 22 years, it had been “biologically impossible” for him to engage in the behavior described by the women in this story, saying he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication. Toback declined to offer further details.
We hope that the LAPD is investigating. Toback and Weinstein should both be prosecuted.