Nearly two-and-a-half weeks after Jodi Kantor and Megan Twohey’s New York Times report blew the lid off of decades of sexual assault and harassment allegations by Harvey Weinstein, the Los Angeles Times has released a similarly expansive look into allegations against director James Toback.
Nearly 31 of the 38 women interviewed spoke on the record about decades of alleged harassment in a Times report by Glenn Whip. After the fallout from Weinstein’s allegations spawned the #meetoo hashtag on various social media platforms to bring light to how pervasive sexual assault is, Toback’s name also came up.
“Us too: by bosses, boyfriends, male babysitters, taxi drivers, strangers and movie director/pig, #jamestoback #metoo” read a tweet from the official Veruca Salt band account dated October 16.
Two prominent members are Veruca Salt’s vocalist-guitarists Nina Gordon and Louise Post.
“I have my own story about #jamestoback from when I was 18,” I Am Just Like You founder Kelley Raleigh tweeted. “It was vile & disgusting. He was around 50 at the time. That's why I believe her.”
Raleigh’s tweet was in response to author and actress Amber Tamblyn’s New York Times essay addressing victim blaming, patriarchy, and why so many sexual assault victims refuse to come forward. Tamblyn also alleged that James Woods tried to proposition her for an out of town tryst when she was 16.
Toback’s credits include Tyson, 1997’s Two Girls And A Guy, and his own semi-autobiographical film The Pick-up Artist. The women profiled by the Los Angeles Times share similar accounts of Toback allegedly posing queries about masturbation and implying sleeping with him would advance their careers.
“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,’” the report states. “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.”
Gawker published multiple accounts of Toback’s alleged assaults, with a very NSFW August 2012 report mirroring similar details of Whip’s Los Angeles Times piece. According to Whip, none of the women he spoke to reported the incidents with Toback to the police at the time.
You can read the full report via the Los Angeles Times.