Following the bombshell reports and accusations about producer Harvey Weinstein’s abuse and harassment of women throughout his career, stories have come out on almost a daily basis about men and women who have faced sexual harassment or abuse over the course of their time in Hollywood.

Many abusers have remained unnamed, but one has now been identified in a report by the Los Angeles Times.

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Academy Award-nominated filmmaker James Toback has been accused of sexual harassment by over 30 women.

Much like Weinstein, Toback would allegedly lure young women to rooms under the pretense of talking business. He would then try to turn the meeting to sexual topics by asking inappropriate questions like “How often do you masturbate?”
Stories about the filmmaker range from his rubbing himself against women — to masturbating in front of them.

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“I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone,” actress Adrienne LaValley told the Times. She recalled that in 2008, Toback rubbed his crotch against her leg in a hotel room.

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“He always wanted me to read for him in a hotel or come back to his apartment, like, ‘How serious are you about your craft?'” said Starr Rinaldi, an aspiring actress approached by Toback about 15 years ago. “And the horrible thing is, whichever road you choose, whether you sleep with him or walk away, you’re still broken.”

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

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To make matters worse, an article in Spy magazine from 1989 has been unearthed that details some of Toback’s behavior. The story’s author was one of 13 women detailing harassment by the director.

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Toback continued to work in the industry after the article. He would go on to be nominated for an Academy Award for Best Original Screenplay, for 1991’s “Bugsy,” starring Warren Beatty. He also directed pictures starring Robert Downey Jr. and Sarah Michelle Gellar after the report.

Toback, however, had nowhere near the influence that Weinstein did. He has mostly worked in independent film for years, and some knew of his reputation and sought to keep actresses away from him.

“It’s important to say, I don’t have any firsthand information about any of this,” wrote “Guardians of the Galaxy” director James Gunn in a post on Facebook. “The stories are so eerily similar, and I’ve heard them again and again from some of the people I trust most in the world, I know the chances of them being untrue … Well, it would just be impossible.” He went on to say he has been warning actresses for years to stay away from Toback.

“I couldn’t stop him,” Gunn wrote, “but I could warn people about him.”

Toback denied the allegations against him to the Los Angeles Times, saying it was “biologically impossible” for him to engage in sexual behavior because of a medication he takes for diabetes.

(photo credit, homepage and article images: YouTube)