In a new joint complaint filed in a New York state court on Monday, December 5, almost 38 women have accused American film director James Toback of being a “serial predator.” According to the papers acquired by Page Six, the women accused Toback of using his “reputation, power, and influence in the entertainment business” to “lure young women into compromising circumstances via deception, coercion, force, and intimidation.”
In other instances, he has also been accused of wrongfully imprisoning, abusing, punching, and bashing the victims. The latest complaint comes almost five years after the bulk of the women originally accused Toback of impropriety in interviews with The Los Angeles Times at the height of the #MeToo movement. Over the course of his career, Toback has allegedly been accused of assault and harassment by over 300 women. However, the filmmaker has already denied all charges. This article contains explicit references to s*xual abuse. Readers should use caution.
An investigation of the many claims leveled against filmmaker James Toback.
More than three dozen people filed a new complaint against filmmaker James Toback on Monday, alleging sexual assault. The victims have accused the director of abusing and attacking them for over four decades by abusing and assaulting them using his “power and influence” in Hollywood. The ladies said that despite being mistreated for 38 years, they were unable to come out against Toback sooner owing to horrifying threats of blacklisting, bodily injury, and/or even death if they did not stay quiet about the abuse they faced over the years.
Several victims reportedly alleged that The Gambler’s author tried to terrify them by claiming to have mafia ties and to have “killed people before.” The ladies said that James Toback often pushed them to “act provocatively” and conduct indecent activities on him to “see whether they were suited for the purported ‘part,’” most of which were nonexistent.
According to the allegations, Toback employed many plans and tactics to target his prospective victims. The complaint went on to say:
“Defendant Toback targeted young women repeatedly with hundreds of victims, frequently utilizing the same lines, enablers, and settings where he was able to perpetrate his abuse on naive young women, including Plaintiffs, for decades.”
The complaint also claimed that the filmmaker approached young ladies on the streets of Manhattan and offered them possible movie parts as part of his routine. In 2018, five women made similar allegations against James Toback. One lady said at the time that the director “hunted” them around the streets of New York City and “conned” them with the “promise of auditions at the Harvard Club.”
According to the ladies, the director used the name of the club “as bait to prey on young women” and “exploited the hopes and weaknesses of hundreds of young women.” Bradley Beckworth, an attorney representing the victims, told Insider that he knows numerous additional women who were not named in the lawsuit who was reportedly assaulted at some point in their lives:
“I believe that when people read this and hear more about what transpired, ladies will realize that they were not alone.” When this kind of abuse occurs, it may be tremendously alienating, sad, and frightening, among other things.”
The ladies have also filed a lawsuit against the Harvard Club of New York City for allegedly tolerating and participating in Toback’s abuse. According to the legal documents:
“Toback routinely exploited his Harvard Club of New York City membership and association to arrange and carry out his abuse, enticing his victims to the Harvard Club for meals and drinks and assaulting them in the Harvard Club’s dining room, stairwells, restrooms, and hotel rooms.”
James Toback was reported as “given free access in and around the Harvard Club,” and the club took no action despite many ladies identifying the former as a “Pick-up Artist” director According to the lawsuit. According to a representative for the Harvard Club, Toback’s membership was canceled in 2017.
“Aside from that, the Harvard Club makes no comment on the ongoing lawsuit.”
According to the newspaper, the director reportedly assaulted his victims in several places across New York City, including his mother’s residence. Due to the statute of limitations, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office did not prosecute James Toback in 2018. The latest case, however, comes following the passage of the Adult Survivor’s Act in New York State, which permits victims of s*xual abuse to sue their offender regardless of the time period of the alleged crime.