Director James Toback denies sexual harassment claims from more than 30 women

Louise Post of the band Veruca Salt is among those who have come forward to make allegations against the filmmaker

Director James Toback has denied claims of sexual harassment made by over 30 women.

The 72-year-old filmmaker began his career in 1974, writing the screenplay for the movie The Gambler. He was nominated for an Oscar for Best Screenplay for 1991’s Bugsy, while his latest film, The Private Life Of A Modern Woman, premiered at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.

The Los Angeles Times reports that 38 women have come forward with allegations against Toback. The paper interviewed 31 of those women, as well as people that were informed of the incidents at the time they occurred. None of the claims were reported to the police at the time.

James Toback

Toback with Jaid Barrymore and Neve Campbell

Actor Adrienne LaValley said Toback had tried to rub his crotch against her leg during an encounter in a hotel room in 2008. Louise Post, the singer and guitarist in Veruca Salt, said she met the director while she was at Barnard College in 1987. “He told me he’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes,” she said. “Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years, that I allowed myself to be so gullible.”

Echo Danon, who worked on Toback’s 1999 film ‘Black And White’, said he had knelt in front of her in his trailer, put his hands on her thighs and told her: “If you look into my eyes and pinch my nipples, I’m going to come in my pants right now.”

When contacted by The Times, Toback denied the allegations, saying he had never met any of the women who had made claims against him, adding that if he did it was “for five minutes and have no recollection”.

He also claimed that, for the past 22 years, it had been “biologically impossible” for him to behave in the manner described in the claims, due to diabetes and a heart condition for which he has to take medication.