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Writer-director James Toback accused of sexual harassment

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Thirty-eight women have accused James Toback of sexual harassment. (Dave Bedrosian/Future-Image/Zuma Press/TNS)

Harvey Weinstein is no anomaly.

Over the weekend, a report published in the Los Angeles Times unveiled 38 accounts of sexual harassment against Writer and director James Toback. These allegations stem all the way back to the 1980s.

The women’s accounts portray James Toback as a man who, for decades, sexually harassed women he hired, women looking for work and women he just saw on the street. The vast majority of these women — 31 of the 38 interviewed — spoke on the record.

As is often the case, none of them contacted the police at the time. When contacted by the Times, Toback denied the allegations, saying that he had never met any of these women or, if he did, it “was for five minutes and have no recollection.” He also repeatedly claimed that for the last 22 years, it had been “biologically impossible” for him to engage in the behavior described by the women in this story, saying he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication.

The women interviewed offered accounts that differed from Toback’s recollections.

“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.”

Like Harvey Weinstein, Toback, now 72, was a big, hulking man with a reputation, so much so that he titled his 1987 semi-autobiographical movie “The Pick-up Artist.” He has been a writer/director since 1974; his most recent film, “The Private Life of a Modern Woman” starring Sienna Miller, premiered at this year’s Venice Film Festival. Media profiles often referred to him as a womanizer. Lurking underneath were darker rumors of creepy behavior, reported in 1989 by Spy magazine and, more recently, by Gawker.

LIL B JUMPED

A beloved figure in Bay Area rap, Lil B, was jumped shortly before his set Saturday at the Rolling Loud hip hop festival in Mountain View, according to a report by XXL. A video circulating on social media shows the rapper being punched and kicked by multiple men, who he later identified to be rappers A Boogie Wit Da Hoodie, PNB Rock and their crew.

PNB Rock’s Sunday set was cancelled, with rapper Kreayshawn filling his spot. Rolling Loud offered no official reason for the switch, and as of Sunday had not issued a statement about the attack.

HAPPY BIRTHDAY

Actress Amandla Stenberg is 19 … Singer Miguel is 32 … Bassist Robert Trujillo of Metallica is 53 … Singer “Weird Al” Yankovic is 58.

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