The Los Angeles Times is out with a potentially damning story about film director James Toback. The paper spoke with 38 women, 31 on the record, who say the longtime writer/director sexually harassed them on movie sets, during interviews, and even on the street, using his Hollywood credentials as a way to get them into abusive situations. Several of the women say Toback, who directed indie movies like Black & White and Two Girls and a Guy, would approach them on the street, brag about his friendship with Robert Downey Jr. or his Oscar nomination for writing the 1991 Warren Beatty film Bugsy, and then invite them somewhere under the auspices of interviewing them or having them read for a part in an upcoming film.
Once they were alone, the women say Toback would quickly become inappropriate. One woman recounts walking down the street with Toback in Manhattan as he questioned her about masturbation and pubic hair. Many of the women describe experiences of Toback demanding they get naked and of him rubbing up against them to the point of ejaculation. These incidents stretch back decades, and other publications had previously published victims' accounts of Toback's behavior, including Gawker. But several of the women interviewed by the Times say they were inspired to come forward after news broke of the allegations against Harvey Weinstein. Louise Post, who says she was abused by Toback in 1987, told the paper, "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."