Rachel McAdams and Selma Blair have shared nearly identical stories to Vanity Fair in which they detail being sexually harassed by James Toback, reports Indie Wire.
McAdams says she met Toback in theatre school when she was 21 years old. After she auditioned for the part in Toback’s film, the director allegedly invited her to workshop the role one on one.
He reportedly asked her to leave her phone number with his casting agent’s assistant and told McAdams they would get back in touch. McAdams says Toback called her later that evening and invited her over to his hotel room, claiming she had to come that night since he was leaving the next day.
“I really didn’t want to go,” McAdams said. “I was so nervous about this show that I was starting because I hadn’t done TV before. I wanted to focus on that, but he was so insistent. So I went over to the hotel, went to the room, and he had all of these books and magazines splayed out on the floor.
“He started that kind of manipulative talk of, ‘How brave are you? How far are you willing to go as an actress? I want to build some intimacy between us because we have to have a very trusting relationship and this is a very difficult part,’” she continued.
McAdams eventually left Toback before any physical assault took place. When she followed up with her agent and told her what happened, her agent told her, “I can’t believe he did it again. This isn’t the first time that this has happened. He did this the last time that he was in town. He did this to one of my other actresses.”
Blair had a similar experience with Toback after wrapping production on “Cruel Intentions.” The actress’ representatives arranged a meeting with the director, who allegedly refused to meet Blair in a hotel lobby and would only take a meeting with her in his hotel room. Blair says things were uncomfortable the minute she got to his room, claiming Toback began speaking about wanting to create a “real connection” with her.
Allegations against Toback were first reported in an exposé published by the Los Angeles Times on October 22. The initial report included 38 women accusing Toback of harassment, but the newspaper said it received 200 more claims in the two days that followed. Along with Blair and McAdams, Julianne Moore has also shared her personal experience dealing with Toback.