Los Angeles Times

38 women have come forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual harassment

He prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their early 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler. He approached them in Central Park, standing in line at a bank or drug store or at a copy center while they worked on their resumes.

His opening line had a few variations. One went: "My name's James Toback. I'm a movie director. Have you ever seen 'Black and White' or 'Two Girls and a Guy'?"

Probably not. So he'd start to drop names. He had an Oscar nomination for writing the Warren Beatty movie "Bugsy." He directed Robert Downey Jr., in three movies. The actor, Toback claimed, was a close friend; he had "invented him." If you didn't believe him, he would pull out a business card or an article that had been written about him to prove he had some juice in Hollywood. That he could make you a star.

But first, he'd need to get to know you. Intimately. Trust him, he'd say. It's all part of his process.

Then, in a hotel room, a movie trailer, a public park, meetings framed as interviews or auditions quickly turned sexual, according to 38 women who, in separate interviews told the Los Angeles Times of similar encounters they had with Toback.

During these meetings, many of the women said, Toback boasted of sexual conquests with the famous and then asked humiliating personal questions. How often do you masturbate? How much pubic hair do you have? He'd tell them, they said,

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

Related Interests

More from Los Angeles Times

Los Angeles Times3 min read
Zu Keeper: Young Center Plays Key Role In Lakers' Big Win Over Thunder
OKLAHOMA CITY - When the stakes were at their highest, the young Los Angeles Lakers excelled and the veteran-laden Thunder crumbled. The Lakers (25-21) beat the Oklahoma City Thunder (26-18), 138-128, in overtime, notching what is easily their most i
Los Angeles Times3 min read
House Intelligence Committee Prepares To Launch New Russia Probe Without Republican Support
WASHINGTON - Newly empowered Democrats on the House Intelligence Committee are preparing to reopen the panel's investigation into Russian meddling in the 2016 election, seeking new interviews and financial records even as Republicans appear ready to
Los Angeles Times2 min read
Louis C.K.'s San Jose Comedy Gig Sparks Protest, Groans And Violence
Louis C.K. has brought his divisive stand-up comedy act to the West Coast, and it's already causing quite a stir. The embattled comedian, who faced a series of sexual misconduct allegations in 2017, took the stage of San Jose's Improv Comedy Club on