“Abused and beaten”: 38 women are suing star director James Toback

“Abused and Beaten”
38 women are suing star director James Toback

Hollywood director James Toback was one of the most prominent #MeToo cases in autumn 2017. In a class action lawsuit, 38 women accuse the 78-year-old of sexual assault. So far, however, there has not been a trial because the cases were statute-barred. That is now changing.

In upstate New York, 38 women have filed a sexual assault lawsuit against Oscar-nominated screenwriter James Toback. In the class action lawsuit, 15 named plaintiffs and 23 anonymous plaintiffs allege Toback used his reputation and power to lure young women into compromising situations “through fraud, coercion, violence and intimidation.”

Here, the director is said to have “locked up, sexually abused, attacked and/or beaten” the women. The 78-year-old then became sexually assaultive. Also listed in the lawsuit is the Harvard Club in New York, where some of the incidents are said to have taken place. The Los Angeles Times reports.

In the fall of 2017, Toback was initially accused of sexual misconduct by 38 women. In the months that followed, another 357 women reported to the Los Angeles Times, which first made the allegations public. These included notable actresses such as Julianne Moore, Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams, who came into contact with Toback before the start of their big careers. The New York Times reported this in 2017.

Harvard Club in New York co-accused

However, there has not yet been a trial against Toback because the cases were statute-barred. The screenwriter withdrew from the public after the allegations became known. However, a new law in the state of New York, the so-called New York Adult Survivors Act, now makes it possible for a period of one year to prosecute sex crimes that have already become statute-barred.

The New York Harvard Club for graduates of the elite university of the same name is also named as a defendant in the lawsuit. Six of the 38 alleged sexual assaults are said to have taken place there. Toback was said to have been given “unrestricted access” to areas of the club reserved for employees and associates. That’s where the assaults took place.