James Toback denies sexual harassment accusations in angry rant

James Toback
James Toback attends the 'The Private Life Of A Modern Woman' photocall during the 74th Venice Film Festival on Sept. 3, 2017. Elisabetta A. Villa/WireImage

NOTE: This article contains sexually explicit language and disturbing content. Read at your own discretion.

At last count, director James Toback has been accused by more than 300 women of sexual harassment and assault.

Since Oct. 22, that number has ballooned from 38 accusers, first publicly announced in the Los Angeles Times. The claims, which range from unwanted sexual advances to non-consensual masturbation, have been made by both celebrities and non-celebrities.

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Canadian actor Rachel McAdams and American star Selma Blair both came forward with their allegations on Thursday.

Toback, 72, said he had no comment on McAdams’ and Blair’s allegations, and previously said about the 38 initial accusations that he never met any of those women, and if he did, it was very brief. He also alluded to diabetes and a heart problem, saying it was “biologically impossible” for him to do what the accusers said he did.

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Now another denial has surfaced in a Rolling Stone interview, conducted with Toback four days before the Times exposé. (Warning: The audio clip below contains graphic language and content you may find disturbing. Listen/watch at your own discretion.)

Rolling Stone reporter Hillel Aron had been communicating with a handful of Toback’s accusers, who each claimed the director invited them up to his hotel room and started masturbating in front of them. When Aron requested a comment from Toback, he insisted the interview be recorded.

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When confronted with the testimony from multiple women claiming Toback used auditions as cover for his sexual intentions, he audibly bristles and outright denies the claims.

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“I don’t want to get a pat on the back, but I’ve struggled seriously to make movies with very little money, that I write, that I direct, that mean my life to me,” he said. “The idea that I would offer a part to anyone for any other reason than that he or she was gonna be the best of anyone I could find is so disgusting to me. And anyone who says it is a lying c**ksucker or c***, or both. Can I be any clearer than that?”

“No one who’s ever worked with me would ever say anything like that. No one,” he added.

Toback also denied ever meeting some of his accusers and said that women tend to “gang” up.

“These are people I don’t know, and it’s things I never would have done. And it’s just not worth talking about. It’s idiotic,” he said. “They hear each other. And they gang up… it’s all, you know, me too, me too, me too, me too, me too… it doesn’t have anything to do with my life in any way. It never has. I work seriously with complete integrity. I never, never, never have offered a part to anyone who didn’t deserve it, and I’ve never not delivered when I do offer a part.”

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Toback was dropped by his talent agency last week and told the Times that he had “nothing to say about anything” on Friday.

As of this writing, it’s unclear whether any law enforcement agencies will be investigating the allegations against the director.

Toback is the director of Two Girls and a Guy and was nominated for an Oscar for writing the Warren Beatty movie Bugsy. His latest production is The Private Life of a Modern Woman, starring Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin.

Toback’s counterpart, disgraced executive producer Harvey Weinstein, has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by more than 60 women. He’s currently under investigation in Los Angeles, New York City and London.

Through a representative, Weinstein has denied all allegations of non-consensual sex.

If you or someone you know is experiencing abuse or is involved in an abusive situation, please visit the Canadian Resource Centre for Victims of Crime for help. They are also reachable toll-free at 1-877-232-2610.

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