A Hollywood director used Manhattan to hunt for actresses to sexually harass a la Harvey Weinstein – trolling Central Park and even local copier centers where the women were working on their resumes to reel them in, a new report says.
More than 38 women told the Los Angeles Timesthat corpulent director and screenwriter James Toback, who was nominated for an Oscar for writing the flick “Bugsy,” would seek out young women, mainly in their early 20s, and feed them lines such as, “My name’s James Toback. I’m a movie director. Have you ever seen ‘Black and White’ or ‘Two Girls and a Guy?’”
Toback, now 72, would then take them to places such as a hotel or movie trailer to “audition” them, the women told the Times. Then, he allegedly pounced.
“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done,’ ” actress Adrienne LaValley told the paper, relaying a creepy 2008 hotel room encounter that allegedly had Toback trying to rub his crotch against her leg.
When she objected, he came to his feet and ejaculated into his pants, she said.
“I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends,” LaValley said. “And I deserved not to tell anyone.”
Musician Louise Post, who met Toback in 1987 while she was a student at Barnard College, said, she went to Toback’s place and has regretted it ever since.
“Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible,” said Post, who plays guitarist and sings for indie rock band Veruca Salt.
“He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes.”
Accusations against the New York-born Toback come in the wake of shocking allegations against Weinstein – one of Tinseltown’s ultimate power-brokers – for allegedly molesting and in some cases raping aspiring actresses.
Onetime aspiring actress Starr Rinaldi recalled a disgusting encounter with Toback in Central Park 15 years ago when he insinuated that young women need to put out to make it Hollywood.
“In a weird sense, I thought, ‘This is a test of whether I’m a real artist and serious about acting,’ ” Rinaldi told the newspaper.
“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?’”
Toback denied the allegations to the Times. He said either he had never met any of the women, or, if he had, it “was for 5 minutes and [I] have no recollection.” He added that his ailing health – diabetes and a heart condition – made it “biologically impossible” for him to have done what the women are accusing him of.