James Toback, 'Pick Up Artist' director, accused of sexual harassment by over 30 women

ABOVE: A global crusade is spreading as women from all walks of life come forward with their stories of sexual harassment and abuse. As Ines de La Cuetara reports, the Me Too Movement just got political.

More than 30 women have come forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment.

Following allegations of sexual assault against Harvey Weinstein, 38 women described their interactions with Toback to the Los Angeles Times, detailing how he allegedly sexually harassed and/or assaulted employees, potential employees and women he met on the street.

Many of the women recall the 72-year-old saying he could make them stars and all they needed to do was ‘trust him.’

READ MORE: Harvey Weinstein accused of sexually harassing women for decades

Actress Adrienne LaValley told the Times of a meeting in a hotel room with Toback in 2008. She says the encounter ended with the director trying to rub his crotch against her leg.

“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done.’”

The 72-year-old has been a writer/ director since 1974. Both Spy Magazine and Gawker did profiles on his alleged dubious attempts to pick up women.

Louise Post, guitarist for the band Veruca Salt, told the Los Angeles Times of her encounter with Toback in 1987 while a student at Barnard College.

“He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes,” Post said. “Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible.”

Toback was nominated for an Oscar for his writing work on Bugsy in 1991. He  also wrote and directed Harvard Man, Two Girls and a Guy and the Pick-Up Artist.

Canadian actress Chantal Cousineau spoke to the Times about an incident which occurred in Toronto while Harvard Man was being filmed

She said she met with him in a hotel restaurant before things moved to a hotel room. Cousineau said that when he began to speak to her of masturbation, she left. As she walked away he told her, “Calm down, you’ve got the part,” according to the LA Times report.

WATCH: Over 50 different women have now made accusations against Harvey Weinstein

While filming, she described to the LA Times hearing him masturbate as she was rehearsing. He then told the crew to take a break. Upon return, he sat two feet away as she filed her first-ever scene.

“I felt so violated,” she told the newspaper. “And there was my abuser, inches away from me.”

READ MORE: Chris Craddock, Canadian playwright, apologizes after admitting he touched women without permission

Thirty-one of the women agreed to speak on the record.

Toback denied the allegations when contacted by the Los Angeles Times. The 72-year-old said he never met any of the women or if he had, it was in passing. Toback also told the newspaper it was “biologically impossible” for him to have committed the acts suggested over the past 22 years as he has diabetes and a heart condition.

None of the women ever spoke to police, according to the report although in the United States, it is believed that only somewhere between 15.8 to 35 percent of all sexual assaults are reported to the police

 

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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