Police in Beverly Hills are investigating “multiple complaints” involving Harvey Weinstein and James Toback, two longtime film industry figures who have each been the subject of numerous accusations of sexual harassment and sexual assault.
“The Beverly Hills Police Department has recently received multiple complaints involving Harvey Weinstein. These cases are under investigation and no further information will be released at this time,” police said in a news release Tuesday. The department sent an identical release involving Toback. Weinstein, a producer long considered one of Hollywood’s most powerful people, was fired from The Weinstein Company after dozens of women accused him of sexual harassment or assault. He was also expelled from the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences.
Weinstein has apologized for his past behavior, but has vehemently denied ever engaging in non-consensual sexual activity. The Los Angeles Police Department has announced that it is investigating a sexual assault allegation against Weinstein. That allegation was made by an Italian model-actress who claims Weinstein raped her in 2013 at a hotel while she was in town for an Italian film festival.
Police in New York and London have said they are investigating allegations of sexual assault involving Weinstein as well.
As for Toback, 38 women recently emerged to report years of perverted and creepy behavior by the director whose credits include “The Pick-up Artist” and “Black & White.” The Los Angeles Times reported that it spoke to the women about the allegations, with 31 speaking on the record.
Toback’s pattern involved prowling the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their early 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler, The Times reported. He approached them in Central Park, standing in line at a bank or drug store or at a copy center while they worked on their resumes. His opening line had a few variations, according to The Times. One went: “My name’s James Toback. I’m a movie director. Have you ever seen `Black and White’ or `Two Girls and a Guy’?”
He’d tell women he could make them a star, then, in a hotel room or a public park, meetings framed as interviews or auditions quickly turned sexual, the 38 women told The Times in separate interviews. Then, he’d rub himself against them or masturbate in front of them, ejaculating into his pants or onto their bodies, then walk away, The Times reported.
As is often the case, none of the women 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 he doesn’t remember the encounters. 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 interviewed by The Times, saying he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication.
–City News Service
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