The names are piling up against writer and director James Toback.
Earlier this week, 38 women came forward, telling the Los Angeles Times that they had been sexually harassed by Toback. Since the Sunday report, the number has ballooned to 200 accusers. Now actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams have added their names to this growing list.
The two women shared their stories with Vanity Fair, detailing a similar series of events, including requests for meetings in Toback’s hotel room, flattery, and the promise of roles. Vanity Fair points out that Toback, and others accused of similar behavior such as Harvey Weinstein, reportedly exploited the vulnerability of new and young actors—the same vulnerability that these actors are told to use and explore in their acting classes.
Blair’s harrowing first encounter with Toback reportedly included him questioning her confidence, offering to have her father killed, asking her to undress to practice a monologue, and later, threatening to kidnap and kill her if she spoke of what transpired.
McAdams recounted Toback telling her that he had masturbated countless times thinking of her and asking to see her pubic hair. Unlike Blair, however, she shared the experience with her agent immediately after, who reportedly said, “I can’t believe he did it again. This isn’t the first time that this has happened. He did this the last time that he was in town. He did this to one of my other actresses.”
When the Los Angeles Times asked Toback for comment when they broke the story, he told the paper that he had never met the women or if he had, it “was for five minutes” and he had no recollection of it. He also claimed that it was “biologically impossible” for him to have taken part in such behavior over the last 22 years, due to his diabetes and a heart condition that required medication.
Toback is best known for Oscar-nominated Bugsy, The Pick-Up Artist, and The Gambler. His latest film, The Private Life of a Modern Woman, has not yet found a distributor.