38 accuse writer/director James Toback of sexual harassment - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

38 accuse writer/director James Toback of sexual harassment

Posted: Updated:
Director James Toback attends the 74th Venice Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino in Venice, Italy, on September 3, 2017. Director James Toback attends the 74th Venice Film Festival at Palazzo del Casino in Venice, Italy, on September 3, 2017.

LOS ANGELES (AP) - Writer and director James Toback, who received an Oscar nomination for writing "Bugsy," has been accused of sexual harassment by 38 women in a report published Sunday in The Los Angeles Times.

In the report, many of the women allege that Toback approached them on the streets of New York City and promised stardom. His meetings would often end with sexual questions and Toback masturbating in front of them or simulating sexual intercourse with them, according to the accounts.

The 72-year-old denied the allegations to The Los Angeles Times, saying he never met any of the women, or if he had it "was for five minutes and (I) have no recollection."

Thirty-one of the women spoke on the record including Louise Post, who is a guitarist and vocalist for the band Veruca Salt, and "As the World Turns" actress Terri Conn.

Actress Echo Danon recalled an incident on the set of his film "Black and White" where Toback put his hands on her and said that he would ejaculate if she looked at his eyes and pinched his nipples.

"Everyone wants to work, so they put up with it," Danon told the Times. "That's why I put up with it. Because I was hoping to get another job."

On Sunday afternoon, Times reporter Glenn Whipp said the number of accusers had doubled since the story had published.

Toback hasn't responded to a request for comment from The Associated Press.

The report comes amid the ongoing downfall of producer Harvey Weinstein, who has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by over three dozen women. He was fired from the company he co-founded and widely denounced by his Hollywood peers.

"James Toback damn you for stealing, damn you for traumatizing," tweeted Weinstein accuser Rose McGowan on Sunday.

Another Weinstein accuser, actress-director Asia Argento, tweeted, "So proud of my sisters for bringing down yet another pig" in response to the Toback report.

Though less widely known than Weinstein, Toback has had a successful four-decade career in Hollywood and has a devoted following who have praised him for his originality and outsized, deeply flawed characters.

A New York native, Harvard graduate, creative writing professor and compulsive gambler, Toback used his own life as inspiration for his first produced screenplay, "The Gambler," which came out in 1974 and starred James Caan. The film was remade in 2014 with Mark Walhberg and Brie Larson.

He also wrote and directed the Harvey Keitel film "Fingers," the loosely autobiographical "The Pick-up Artist," which starred Robert Downey Jr. and Molly Ringwald, "Two Girls and a Guy," also with Downey Jr. and Heather Graham, "Harvard Man," with Sarah Michelle Gellar, and the Mike Tyson documentary "Tyson."

His one and only Oscar nomination is for writing the Barry Levinson-directed and Warren Beatty-starring "Bugsy."

Toback's upcoming film, "The Private Life of a Modern Woman," stars Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin and debuted at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.

Like Weinstein, reports of Toback's alleged behavior toward women have been around for decades. Spy magazine wrote about him in 1989, and the now-defunct website Gawker also published accounts from women in New York who had had run-ins with Toback.

But in the past few weeks, amid the Weinstein scandal and the rise of the #MeToo social media movement, in which women are revealing instances of sexual harassment and assault, more reports have emerged about the conduct of many working in the entertainment industry.

Just days ago, top Amazon Studios executive Roy Price resigned following sexual harassment allegations made by a "Man in the High Castle" producer.

On Sunday, a few in Hollywood began denouncing Toback on social media, including "Bridesmaids" director Paul Feig, who tweeted that Toback "Is a disgrace."

"One of the main jobs of a director is to create a safe environment for the actors," Feig wrote.

"Doctor Strange" director Scott Derrickson added, "If there is a Hell, James Toback will be in it."

"Guardians of the Galaxy" director James Gunn wrote a lengthy Facebook post Sunday about the allegations, saying that he has personally met at least 15 women who have said they have had these kinds of encounters with Toback, including three women he has dated, two friends and a family member.

"For over twenty years now, I've been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people," Gunn wrote. "I couldn't stop him, but I could warn people about him."

Copyright 2017 The Associated Press.

  • Entertainment NewsEntertainment NewsMore>>

  • Report: Autopsies show nothing suspicious in Avicii's death

    Report: Autopsies show nothing suspicious in Avicii's death

    Sunday, April 22 2018 10:15 PM EDT2018-04-23 02:15:15 GMT
    (Fredrik Persson/TT New Agency via AP). Fans of DJ Avicii gather at Sergels Torg following the news of his death, in central Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday, April 21, 2018. Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts f...(Fredrik Persson/TT New Agency via AP). Fans of DJ Avicii gather at Sergels Torg following the news of his death, in central Stockholm, Sweden, Saturday, April 21, 2018. Avicii, the Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ who performed sold-out concerts f...
    Sweden's public broadcaster says police in Oman have conducted two autopsies on the body of Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ Avicii, who died Friday at age 28. 
    Sweden's public broadcaster says police in Oman have conducted two autopsies on the body of Grammy-nominated electronic dance DJ Avicii, who died Friday at age 28. 
  • 'A Quiet Place,' 'Rampage' lead newcomers at box office

    'A Quiet Place,' 'Rampage' lead newcomers at box office

    Sunday, April 22 2018 8:25 PM EDT2018-04-23 00:25:14 GMT
    (Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures via AP). This image released by Paramount Pictures shows John Krasinski, left, and Noah Jupe in a scene from "A Quiet Place."(Jonny Cournoyer/Paramount Pictures via AP). This image released by Paramount Pictures shows John Krasinski, left, and Noah Jupe in a scene from "A Quiet Place."
    "A Quiet Place" and "Rampage" are fighting it out again for the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend and easily beating newcomers like Amy Schumer's "I Feel Pretty" and "Super Troopers 2.". 
    "A Quiet Place" and "Rampage" are fighting it out again for the top spot at the domestic box office this weekend and easily beating newcomers like Amy Schumer's "I Feel Pretty" and "Super Troopers 2.". 
  • Investigation says Prince was isolated, addicted and in pain

    Investigation says Prince was isolated, addicted and in pain

    Sunday, April 22 2018 5:55 PM EDT2018-04-22 21:55:25 GMT
    (Carver County Sheriff's Office via AP). In this image made from surveillance video provided Thursday, April 19, 2018, by the Carver County Sheriff's Office, as part of an investigative file into Prince's death, the superstar, center, enters a clinic o...(Carver County Sheriff's Office via AP). In this image made from surveillance video provided Thursday, April 19, 2018, by the Carver County Sheriff's Office, as part of an investigative file into Prince's death, the superstar, center, enters a clinic o...
    Investigative files in Prince's death show that members of his inner circle were growing increasingly alarmed about an opioid addition as his health waned in the final days of his life, and that they sought help. 
    Investigative files in Prince's death show that members of his inner circle were growing increasingly alarmed about an opioid addition as his health waned in the final days of his life, and that they sought help. 
Powered by Frankly
All content © Copyright 2000 - 2018 Midwest Television, Inc. All Rights Reserved.
For more information on this site, please read our Privacy Policy, and Terms of Service, and Ad Choices.