Ellen Pompeo says James Toback once asked her to 'get naked' in a movie
Ellen Pompeo is the latest actress to reveal she experienced sexual harassment at the hands of director James Toback.
“I actually did have a situation with James Toback where I kind of told him to go (expletive) himself,” she told USA Today. “It was held in a public place and I brought a man — my friend Tony. And he didn’t like that at all. And I could tell that. I could tell instantly that he was, like, no good. The minute my friend left, he asked me if I would get naked in a movie. And I was like, ‘Really, dude? My friend has been missing all of 30 seconds and now you say that? I kind of laughed in his face.”
The Grey’s Anatomy actress is the latest to come forward with accusations of sexual misconduct against the director alongside the likes of Selma Blair, Rachel McAdams, and Julianne Moore. Pompeo’s Grey’s Anatomy costar Caterina Scorsone revealed last week that an essay recounting sexual harassment early in her career was written about Toback and his mistreatment of her during an audition. Beginning with an Oct. 22 article in the Los Angeles Times, Toback has been accused of sexual harassment and assault by upwards of 200 women.
Additionally, Pompeo recounted her interaction with disgraced movie mogul Harvey Weinstein, who has also been accused of sexual misconduct by numerous women. In the case of Weinstein, she did not suffer any unwanted attention. “I met with Harvey at the Peninsula and he didn’t try anything on me,” she told USA Today. “I was very lucky. I escaped those clutches.” (Weinstein denies any allegations of sexual assault.)
Pompeo admits much of the reason she’s largely escaped sexual harassment in Hollywood is because she’s spent 14 years of her career on Grey’s Anatomy. “I’ve been so lucky and maybe part of my choice to stay was (due to) knowing exactly what my environment was,” she said. “Going out there and auditioning for jobs and basically having to beg men and get their approval for jobs was never fun for me. Even though I didn’t have any terrible experiences like some of these poor girls, this is the environment and you’re aware of it. I’m very grateful in my choice to stay in my safe space.”
Pompeo’s reps did not immediately respond to requests for further comment from EW. Toback previously denied all allegations made against him in a profane interview with Rolling Stone.
Read the original story on USA Today here.