Actresses Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams have both come forward with allegations of sexual harassment against James Toback.
In interviews with Vanity Fair, the two actresses claim that the director met with them in hotel rooms at the start of their careers.
According to both accounts, the actresses met with him to audition for his upcoming movie, Harvard Man.
Blair, who is best known for starring in Legally Blonde, was part of the original 38 women who spoke to the Los Angeles Times about the allegations, but chose not to have her name mentioned.
“When he called these women liars, and said he didn’t recall meeting them and that the behaviour alleged could not be attributed to him, I just felt rage and an obligation to speak publicly now,” Blair said of the decision to speak out.
In Blair’s account, she describes her representatives arranging for her to meet Toback in a restaurant. However, when she got there, she was told to meet the director in his hotel room.
She told Vanity Fair she agreed to go inside the room “against my better judgment,” and once inside, Toback told her she needed to do a monologue without any clothes.
She describes: “I told him I was uncomfortable. But he continued to coax me—saying that this was in no way a come-on.
This was part of training. He wanted to make me a good actress. He wanted to make me comfortable.
I thought, “Well, my representation sent me to see him. He must be really important.” I took off my sweater.”
The actress explains that she immediately felt uncomfortable, put her sweater back on and tried to leave, but was blocked at the door.
It was there that Toback told her she ‘had to do this’ and began to ‘rub his penis through his pants’, pressed against Blair’s leg.
When he had ‘finished’, he then threatened Blair’s safety if she ever spoke about what happened. Referring to a woman who threatened to expose Toback, he said:
“I have people who will pull up in a car, kidnap her, and throw her in the Hudson River with cement blocks on her feet.”
Blair said she told her manager she never wanted to see Toback again, and that she never told because she was ‘scared for my life’.
According to McAdams, she met Toback whilst still at theatre school, and after persistence, agreed to meet Toback in his hotel room because she believed it to be a big audition.
She claimed Toback went to the bathroom, and when he came out, told her he had masturbated thinking of her, and asked to see her pubic hair; she told him no and later left.
McAdams phoned her agent, who was ‘outraged and very sorry’, but also admitted it wasn’t the first time it had happened.
“That is when I got mad, because I felt like I was kind of thrown into the lion’s den and given no warning that he was a predator.
This has all got to stop. We need to start acknowledging what an epidemic this is, and what a deep-seated problem this is.”
Julianne Moore has also spoken out, tweeting that Toback tried twice to meet with her in his apartment.