James Toback Denies Sexual-Harassment Allegations in Newly Surfaced Interview
"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," the director told Rolling Stone just days before the damning L.A. Times exposé hit.
Days before the Los Angeles Times published an exposé of sexual-harassment allegations against director James Toback, he denied ever making unwanted sexual advances toward women in an Oct. 18 interview with Rolling Stone, which surfaced online Friday.
Rolling Stone's Hillel Aron had been in contact with a few of Toback's accusers, who had alleged the director invited them up to his hotel room for an audition and masturbated in front of them, when he approached the director for comment. Toback insisted the interview be recorded.
Asked about the growing number of allegations from women who claimed they'd been harassed during private meetings disguised as auditions, Toback said, "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 cocksucker or c— or both. Can I be any clearer than that?"
He added, "No one who's ever worked with me would ever say anything like that. No one."
Toback insisted that he doesn't offer film roles to anyone "unless they deserve them" and slammed the accusations as "offensive and insulting and disgusting."
Denying that he even met some of the women Aron mentioned by name, the director again said, "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, who has been accused of sexual harassment by more than 200 women, also condemned the idea of women "ganging" up and coming forward one by one.
"They hear each other. And they gang up. ... It's all, you know, me too, me too, me too, me too, me too. ... It doesn't have anything to do with my life in any way. It never has," he told Rolling Stone. "I work seriously with complete integrity. I never, never, never have offered a part to anyone who didn't deserve it, and I've never not delivered when I do offer a part."
Since the Times' report was first published, Hollywood actresses Julianne Moore, Rachel McAdams, Selma Blair and Natalie Morales have joined the chorus of women coming forward with harassment allegations against the director.
Toback previously claimed the alleged behavior described by his accusers was "biologically impossible," as he has had diabetes and a heart condition that requires medication for the past 22 years.