In the wake of the Harvey Weinstein scandal, many others have been hit with allegations of sexual harassment and assault within the fields of media, politics, and Hollywood.
One is director James Toback, who was the subject of a Los Angeles Times story last Sunday, in which 38 women accused him of sexual harassment. More than 200 women have since come out saying the director sexually harassed them as well.
In most instances, Toback would allegedly walk up to women on the street, introduce himself as a filmmaker, and offer them a role in his next movie. That would then lead to conversations about sex and often sexual harassment, accusers said.
But before the Times story broke, Rolling Stone reporter Hillel Aron reached out to Toback after speaking to nine women who said Toback sexually harassed them. In two instances, accusers said Toback met women and began discussing over months of talks and meetings potential roles for them to play in his movie projects, then on separate occasions turned the talk sexual and humped their legs.
Aron reached out to Toback through his agent at the time — the person no longer represents the director — and Toback called Aron back four days before the Times story published for an on-the-record conversation.
When Aron told Toback about the allegations he’d heard from women, Toback responded with the following:
“Lemme be really clear about this. I don’t want to get a pat on the back, but I’ve struggled seriously to make movies with very little money, that I write, that I direct, that mean my life to me. 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 went on to say that he had just done a movie with actress Sienna Miller and that “no one who’s ever worked with me would ever say anything like that.” According to Rolling Stone, he was actually sitting next to Miller at the time of the call and handed the phone to her to talk to Aron. An off-the-record conversation reportedly took place. (Miller was not immediately available to comment. Business Insider reached out to Toback’s former agent in an attempt to get in contact with the director and ask for a comment on the statements made in the recording, but haven’t heard back.)
Aron then told Toback about the two women who, on the record, said that the director sexually assaulted them.
“This is just too stupid,” Toback said. “I mean, these are people I don’t know, and it’s things I never would have done. And it’s just not worth talking about. It’s idiotic.”
Toback said that he has never offered a part to anyone who didn’t deserve it, and that he’s never told a woman on the street that he’s a director and that, “I’ll get you a film role.”
“Anything like that is nauseating and disgusting,” Toback said. “And I would never say anything like ‘I’ll get you a film role.’ It’s too stupid to dignify. It’s pathetic lies. It’s just too f—ing embarrassing and idiotic.”
Listen to the entire exchange between Aron and Toback below:
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