Last week, 38 women came forward to accuse director James Toback of sexual assault in an exposé published by the Los Angeles Times (and since then, several hundred more women have come forward). Toback was quick to deny the allegations, claiming that he did not even know many of the women who accused him, and that, even if he had, he would not have been able to physically carry out these assaults due to his diabetes and heart condition.
The director’s dismissal of the allegations has led actress Rachel McAdams to share a traumatic experience involving Toback in an extended statement to Vanity Fair.
Warning: This is highly disturbing.
McAdam’s account offers many similarities to those of other victims who came forward in the Times article. She was a young actress trying to find her big break. Toback told her that he could potentially cast her in a role if she were to come to his hotel room to workshop a part together. McAdams felt uncomfortable, but reasoned that acting is often about getting yourself out of your comfort zone. But things got out of hand soon after she arrived.
McAdams then said that Toback got up to use the bathroom, and when he came back informed her that he had “just jerked off” while thinking about her, before telling her to show him her “pubic hair.”
McAdams said no and left the hotel room soon after. And like many other sexual assault and harassment victims, she said that she somehow felt responsible for the incident.
McAdams concluded with a passionate plea to put an end to this type of sexual misconduct.
We are once again in awe of the bravery of yet another woman coming forward in an attempt to put an end to the cycle of abuse. You can read both McAdam’s and Selma Blair’s deeply personal and powerful accounts in their entirety here.