James Toback issued profane denial when asked about sexual misconduct allegations
Days before the Los Angeles Times published an exposé on filmmaker James Toback, which included allegations of sexual misconduct made against him by 38 women, Toback slammed some accusers in a profane, combative interview with Rolling Stone.
“I’ve struggled seriously to make movies with very little money, that I write, that I direct, that mean my life to me,” Toback, 72, told reporter Hillel Aron. “The idea that I would offer a part to anyone for any other reason than that he or she was gonna be the best of anyone I could find is so disgusting to me. And anyone who says it is a lying c—sucker or c—t or both. Can I be any clearer than that?”
Toback, a director and screenwriter, was addressing allegations that he has approached women on the street, offered them film roles, and made unwanted sexual advances toward them. According to the Rolling Stone story, Aron spoke to nine women who shared such allegations — some on the record, including Sari Kamin and Ambika Leigh.
The initial Los Angeles Times story, published Oct. 22, also detailed numerous allegations of sexual misconduct and harassment. Toback told the paper he had never met the women making the allegations, or if he did, it “was for five minutes” and he had “no recollection.” In the wake of the Times report, actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams shared stories of their alleged experiences with Toback in a Vanity Fair piece. According to the Times‘ Glenn Whipp, more than 300 women have since come forward with allegations similar to those described in his report.
Speaking to Rolling Stone, Toback denied the allegations made by Kamin and Leigh, both of whom described encounters in which he tried to hump their leg. “These are people I don’t know, and it’s things I never would have done,” Toback told Aron. “And it’s just not worth talking about. It’s idiotic. My question to you is, do you want to be a writer? Do you have any sense of yourself as a serious person? Because this stuff should be beneath anybody.”
Toward the end of the interview, Toback said, “This is not worth wasting another second on.”
Toback could not be reached by phone Friday afternoon and did not immediately respond to a voicemail from EW asking for comment.
Read more at Rolling Stone.