Case alleges writer-director James Toback is a ‘serial sexual predator’

A lawsuit filed in New York on Monday alleges Hollywood writer-director James Toback is a “serial sexual predator” who has targeted and harassed dozens of women for decades, often saying he wants them to be featured in his films.

The lawsuit, filed in the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, lists 38 plaintiffs, many of whom are identified as “Jane Doe”. Fifteen is identified by name.

The Harvard Club of New York City, in which the case claims Toback “attracts” several women, is also named as defendants.

The Daily Beast first reported the case.

Five years ago, Oscar-nominated screenwriter and director Toback, whose films include “The Pick-Up Artist,” “Bugsy,” and “Tyson,” was accused of sexual harassment by more than 30 women in a Los Angeles Times report. .

The story came out weeks after the New York Times report on Harvey Weinstein sparked the MeToo movement.

According to the Associated Press, prosecutors in Los Angeles declined to press charges in five of the cases, saying the statute of limitations had expired in all cases in 2018.

A lawyer who previously represented Toback could not be reached on Monday. Efforts to reach out to the writer-director were unsuccessful, and it was unclear whether he had a lawyer or representative to speak for him.

Toback has previously denied the allegations and told Rolling Stone in 2017: “The idea of ​​offering anyone a role for any reason other than the best of everyone I could find is disgusting to me.”

Lawyers in the lawsuit, filed on Monday, said Toback had a “How it Works” that involved approaching young women on the streets of New York City and showering them with compliments while putting forward their Hollywood credentials.

The suit says that Toback will be proposing to cast the women in an upcoming movie and holding a meeting to discuss the role.

Six of the women alleged that their meetings took place at the Harvard Club New York City, a private venue for alumni and faculty, and sexually harassed, harassed and beat women “in the dining room, hallways, stairs, bathrooms and hotel rooms”. “

Toback graduated from school in 1966 according to the suit. A representative of the club did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

The lawsuit says the club terminated Toback’s membership in 2017.

In some of the cases cited in the case, Toback allegedly prevented women from escaping or chased women as they fled before sexually assaulting them. In several instances involved in the case, Toback allegedly masturbated in front of or on women and penetrated them without their consent.

The lawsuit alleges that Toback later threatened the women, telling them it would ruin their careers if they mentioned one of the attacks, and telling them he was affiliated with organized crime groups and “knows people who hurt people”.

The 89-page lawsuit alleges assault, assault, wrongful imprisonment, willful emotional distress and neglect. The lawsuit does not specify damages.

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