Rachel McAdams & Selma Blair Share Stories of Sexual Harassment By James Toback
RACHEL MCADAMS & SELMA BLAIR SPEAK OUT AGAINST JAMES TOBACK
They join the 38 accusers whose voices were made heard in a Los Angeles Times exposé about Toback last week. Since that publications, that number expanded to more than 200 allegations. Speaking with Vanity Fair, McAdams and Blair described encounters similar to those alleged by other women – many assert that the now-72-year-old Toback would promise the actresses stardom, often references friends like Robert Downey Jr., before masturbating or simulating sex acts on the women.
After filming Cruel Intentions, Blair was set to meet up with Toback through her agent for a role in his film Harvard Man. Similar to Harvey Winstein‘s MO, the meeting was scheduled for a hotel restaurant. When she arrived, Blair was informed that Toback wanted to meet with her in his room. The actress then described that the director requested she perform a monologue in the nude, he asked for sex, and would not let her leave until he “had release.” Blair said he then simulated sex on her leg.
“I felt disgust and shame, and like nobody would ever think of me as being clean again after being this close to the devil,” Blair said. “His energy was so sinister.” After the incident, Toback implied that Blair could be killed if she told anyone. “I didn’t want to speak up because, it sounds crazy but, even until now, I have been scared for my life,” she admits.
“After he finished, he told me, ‘There is a girl who went against me. She was going to talk about something I did,'” Blair recalls. ‘”I am going to tell you, and this is a promise, if she ever tells anybody, no matter how much time she thinks went by, I have people who will pull up in a car, kidnap her, and throw her in the Hudson River with cement blocks on her feet. You understand what I’m talking about, right?'” She said she had hoped “someone bigger” would come along and “call him out,” but that she had been emboldened by the “brave women” who spoke out against Weinstein.
Ava DuVernay tweeted at Blair that she is “big enough,” in support. “‘What I want in my dreams is for someone bigger than me to call him out.’ You and the other women are big enough, @SelmaBlair. The biggest.🌸,” she said.
— Ava DuVernay (@ava) October 26, 2017
McAdams, after getting an Oscar nomination for her supporting role in Spotlight, was also called for an audition for Harvard Man. After the audition, Toback told her he wanted to workshop her acting with her. She was 21 at the time. They met in his hotel room, and the conversation turned. “He said, ‘You know, I just have to tell you. I have masturbated countless times today thinking about you since we met at your audition,'” McAdams said, adding that he asked her to show him her pubic hair. “I was very lucky that I left and he didn’t actually physically assault me in any way.”
Toback has denied all allegations brought against him, citing a medical issue that doesn’t allow him to partake in sexual activity anymore. However, that doesn’t account for allegations about sex acts many years ago.
Unlike Weinstein, Toback is not an employee and cannot be fired. He is also not currently a member of the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences. He does, however, currently have a complete film without a distributor. The ironically titled The Private Life of a Modern Woman, starring Sienna Miller and Alec Baldwin, debuted at the Venice Film Festival earlier this year.
Jessica Chastian is choosing to focus on the silver lining with the onslaught of sexual assault allegations in Hollywood. “For years, many in power tried to divide & conquer women in order to dominate, control, & victimize them. The inexcusable behavior stops now,” she tweeted.
For years, many in power tried to divide & conquer women in order to dominate, control, & victimize them. The inexcusable behavior stops now https://t.co/AbMsdPU22E
— Jessica Chastain (@jes_chastain) October 26, 2017