Over the weekend, The Los Angeles Times published a story on 38 women who came forward with sexual harassment allegations against director James Toback. Now, Selma Blair and Rachel McAdams are speaking out about the sexual harassment they say they experienced from Toback in a piece for Vanity Fair, with Blair revealing that she was one of the women who chose to go unnamed in the original L.A. Times piece. She chose to change that now because the number of Toback accusers has risen to “more than 200 women,” and his response to the L.A. Times story—claiming that he had never met any of the women in question—filled her with “rage and an obligation to speak publicly.” She says she wants to bring as much awareness to Toback as possible now in hopes that he’ll “be held accountable.”
Blair shares more information about her experience with Toback in the Vanity Fair piece than she did for The L.A. Times, going into detail about how he she met him for a meeting in his hotel room after he moved it from a restaurant, how he allegedly made her do a monologue while naked, and then how he asked her for sex. When she refused and tried to leave, he allegedly stopped her and implied that he had once had a woman kidnapped and thrown in the Hudson River “with cement blocks on her feet” because she was going to “talk about something he had done.” Blair says she just wanted to get out of his room “without being raped,” so she gave in to a request to pinch his nipples while he rubbed up against her leg—a common thread from a lot of the allegations against Toback.
McAdams says she met Toback when she was a 21-year-old theater student. She auditioned for a role in one of his movies, and he asked her to meet up with him later to “workshop it a little.” That night, he invited her to his hotel room and was “insistent” that they meet. When she arrived, he allegedly told her that he had “masturbated countless times” thinking about her and started using “manipulative talk” like asking how far she was “willing to go as an actress.” McAdams says he also asked her to “read passages out loud from different reviews of his films and different critics talking about his work.” After excusing himself to the bathroom and explaining that he had masturbated again, McAdams says he started asking about her pubic her. At that point, she got up and managed to leave.
McAdams told her agent at the time about it this next morning, and though she was “outraged” and “very sorry,” she also told McAdams that Toback had allegedly done the same thing to one of her other clients. That in particular seems to be why McAdams wanted to come forward, with her telling Vanity Fair that we “have to get it all out in the open and in the light so that we can really understand how pervasive [sexual harassment] is.”