Entertainment & Arts

Toback: 200 more women contact LA Times about harassment

James Toback Image copyright AFP
Image caption Toback has denied the original allegations and declined to respond to the additional complaints

More than 200 further women are accusing filmmaker James Toback of harassment, according to the LA Times.

The majority of the new accounts, which have not been verified, listed a wide range of alleged unwanted sexual advances and behaviour by the star.

The paper ran a story on Sunday in which 38 women accused Toback of harassment.

Toback denied the original allegations and declined to respond to the LA Times regarding the additional complaints.

He said he had never met any of the women mentioned in the original LA Times story, and if he did, it "was for five minutes and [he has] no recollection".

Image copyright EPA
Image caption Morales said she thought Toback had used "the oldest line in the book"

Toback told the LA Times that for the past 22 years, it had been "biologically impossible" for him to engage in the behaviour described, saying he had diabetes and a heart condition that required medication.

Today Show anchor Natalie Morales is among the new accusers.

"In all honesty, I thought he was just a creep hitting on me with the oldest line in the book," Morales told the LA Times.

"I was just lucky. I saw pretty quickly what he was up to."

The Los Angeles Police Department (LAPD) has fielded numerous phone calls related to Toback in the last few days, LAPD Detective Danetta Menifee told The LA Times.

Split with agent

She said the department's special assault section in its robbery/homicide division is going through the calls to determine if the LAPD will conduct an investigation after analysing the nature of the complaints and where the encounters occurred.

A spokesperson for the Manhattan District Attorney's office said women are being encouraged to call the office's sex crimes hotline number in relation to Toback, who lives in New York.

Toback's long-time agent, Jeff Berg, ended his relationship with the director and writer over the weekend, according to a spokesperson for Berg's Los Angeles firm, Northside Services.

The writer and director was nominated for best screenplay for 1991's Bugsy.

The mobster film starred Warren Beatty and Annette Bening. He has also directed Robert Downey Jr in three films, including Black and White and The Pick-Up Artist.

Toback's latest film, The Private Life of a Modern Woman, premiered at the Venice Film Festival last month and stars Sienna Miller.

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