‘Guardians of the Galaxy’ helmer James Gunn has claimed that for 20 years he tried to warn people about James Toback, who has been accused of sexual harassment by multiple women. “When I lived in New York, in the ‘nineties, this dude was EVERYWHERE. I have personally met at least FIFTEEN WOMEN, probably more, who say that he’s accosted them in NYC,” wrote Gunn in a lengthy Facebook post, which he also shared on Twitter titled “Why I’ve despised James Toback for over 20 years”. The director said that Toback would go to women and introduce himself. Then he would show them some article about himself or some other artifact to prove who he is, and would try “to get them to go somewhere else with him”.
“He has done this to three girls I’ve dated, two of my very best friends, and a family member… twice. This is in addition to many other women I’ve talked to at parties or dinners about their interactions with Toback,” Gunn wrote.
He said that he does not have any “firsthand information about any of this” but all the stories are “so eerily similar” that the “chances of them being untrue… well, it would just be impossible”.
“So I did what I could do in my impotent state – for over twenty years now, I’ve been bringing up James Toback every chance I could in groups of people. I couldn’t stop him, but I could warn people about him,” he wrote.
Gunn thought that Toback had disappeared into “obscurity and old age” but after reading about the report which detailed the accusations against Toback he “almost vomited”.
“I had hoped his exploits had become well known enough that producers wouldn’t finance his films and actors wouldn’t work with him,” he said. “So I was happy today to wake up to this story in the LA Times. I told the women who would come forward I had their back. This is me doing my best to fulfill that promise,” Gunn added.
Toback, 72, has been accused of sexual harassment and sexual misconduct by 38 women in a Los Angeles Times report. The director has denied the accusations.