Selma Blair Reveals James Toback Threatened to "Gouge" Her Eyes Out
The actress said she thinks the director, who she's been told has been accused of "real assault" by 359 women and who sexually harassed her, "belongs in jail."
Selma Blair opened up about her decision to come forward and reveal the harassment she allegedly endured from director James Toback, as well as what she hopes will happen to the disgraced director, who once threatened to kill her and gouge her eyes out, and how she feels about the power of the #MeToo movement.
Toback’s years of allegedly engaging in sexually inappropriate behavior during auditions was first reported by an exposé in The Los Angeles Times, where 38 women detailed the harassment they endured from the director. Blair, who was one of the original Hollywood accusers to come forward about Toback, said the director threatened to kill her if she told anyone about how he allegedly harassed her.
“I’ve literally been afraid for 17 years of James Toback who threatened to murder me and, you know, put cement shoes on and gouge my eyes out with a Bic pen if I ever told anybody,” Blair said during a sitdown on Monday's episode of The Talk. “I was mortally afraid for a really long time.”
Blair added that she originally felt helpless and fearful over coming forward, refusing to go on-the-record with her Toback story. After Toback denied the allegations made against him, Blair knew she had to publicly address her personal experience with the director, sharing details to Vanity Fair. "I said, if I can be a bigger voice, I will. My prayer…was that there will be women much bigger than me that will be taken much more seriously, with pristine records that people will really pay attention to and it did. It’s really happening. And it will be better for all of us.”
Blair also finds comfort in knowing that the accuser count has risen to 359, according to the author of the original Times exposé about Toback, all with stories that Blair says constitute “real assault.”
After multiple accusers came forward against Toback, an investigation was launched into the once esteemed director. "I do believe James Toback belongs in jail,” Blair said when asked about her feelings on the investigation. Later adding, “I would hope that he was found guilty, but it is a lot of he-said she-said, but people have come to me personally that he's done much worse to, and yes, I do believe he deserves to be in jail."
Though disturbing stories have been told regarding some of Hollywood’s high-profile figures, the power of the #MeToo movement and Time’s Up are something Blair finds “incredible,” and she's relieved that they represent more than just a “moment.”
“It feels incredible and it's a long time coming for us. For all of us. It was a moment that's turned into a movement," Blair said.
Apart from Blair, actresses Rachel McAdams, Julianne Moore and Natalie Morales also came forward with their own harassment allegations against James Toback.