“He had an Oscar nomination for writing the Warren Beatty movie, “Bugsy.” He directed Robert Downey, Jr., in three movies. The actor, Toback claimed, was a close friend; he had “invented him.” If you didn’t believe him, he would pull out a business card or an article that had been written about him to prove he had some juice in Hollywood. That he could make you a star.
But first, he’d need to get to know you. Intimately. Trust him, he’d say. It’s all part of his process.
“The way he presented it, it was like, ‘This is how things are done,’” actress Adrienne LaValley said of a 2008 hotel room encounter that ended with Toback trying to rub his crotch against her leg. When she recoiled, he stood up and ejaculated in his pants. “I felt like a prostitute, an utter disappointment to myself, my parents, my friends. And I deserved not to tell anyone.”
For his part, Mr Toback claimed to the Times that these allegations were “biologically impossible” because of certain health conditions he endures, and that he can’t remember someone he met for “5 minutes”.
That is what we call a non denial denial.
The nature of Mr. Toback’s denials are consistent with the monster described in the story, of course he cannot remember the women he destroyed, he didn’t care about them to begin with, or consider the damage he was doing to them emotionally.
Hungry young women looking to advance their careers were toys to Mr. Toback, tools to help him achieve gratification, he didn’t give two shits about what he was doing to his victims, or the culture he was feeding if the report is accurate.
The ickest part of the story is the methods Mr. Toback would employ to lure women to his different domiciles, the lengths he would go to in an effort prove that he was some Hollywood big shot.
James Toback allegedly played on women’s fears, their drive, their insecurities, and he did so with stone cold impunity.
This man in the story is a predator, a tyrant that feeds on the innocent while using their ambition against them.
Mr. Toback’s behavior is common in Hollywood according to numerous news articles on the subject in the last couple weeks, there is countless examples of women have to offer their bodies as some type of sacrifice in order to establish purchase in the movie industry.
But we all know this dynamic is not limited to Hollywood, it takes place all over America in every line of work, professional working women are targets.
These stories(while incredibly sad) are good for the general health of the country, powerful sexual abusers like Harvey Weinstein, and James Toback must be outed, their machinations must be publicly documented, the only way to change the culture is to remove the conduits of it.
Many victims of sexual assault have serious reservations about coming forward, especially when it can directly impact personal security, the upward mobility of their careers, or other such liberties that nobody should fear losing if they don’t give themselves to a pig.
Often victims fear that they will be put on trial, that their motives for coming forward will be torn to shreds by the media, and defense lawyers.
We have to help these victims the best we can, we have to keep digging, keep listening, keep investigating, we might not be able to topple all of the James Toback’s of the world, but we certainly can alter the culture they are operating within.