TV news anchor Natalie Morales has added her name to the list of women who have spoken out about director James Toback’s womanizing ways, revealing she had an odd encounter with him in Central Park.
The Access Hollywood host was among those applauding the 30-plus victims who came forward with sexual harassment charges against the filmmaker in the wake of the Harvey Weinstein sex scandal.
In a Los Angeles Times expose, the Two Girls and a Guy filmmaker, who scored an Oscar nomination for writing 1991 movie Bugsy, has been accused of trying to lure women to private meetings by promising them opportunities in Hollywood.
On Monday (23Oct17) Morales revealed she was approached by Toback over two decades ago when she was a young, newly-engaged journalist in New York walking in Central Park.
He told her he was developing a new movie, which turned out to be Two Girls and a Guy, and tried to convince her to try out for a role, presenting her with a Variety article about himself to prove he was a “legitimate” director.
“He makes it very clear with the conversation, as I’m walking…, that he wants to get me into a secluded part of the park… and he also proceeded to say that if you wanna be in the movies you’ve gotta be willing to show yourself,” Morales recalled.
“I was like, ‘Sorry, I’m leaving right now. I don’t wanna be in the movies. I just wanna make money… I just want a career…’ I was very grateful that I left, but think of all the women that were seduced.”
According to the Times article, published on Sunday (22Oct17), Toback often invited aspiring actresses to his hotel room or apartment to discuss possible collaborations, only to then act inappropriately by asking intimate sexual questions and reportedly masturbating in front of them. Investigative reporter Glenn Whipp explains none of the females reported the incidents to police out of shame.
Veruca Salt singer Louise Post and actress Adrienne LaValley were among the alleged victims who spoke out about their encounters with 72-year-old Toback.
The director has firmly denied the accusations, insisting he had never met any of the women featured in the Times piece and claimed such behavior would have been “biologically impossible” for him due to his health, stating he has suffered from diabetes and “a heart condition that required medication” for the past 22 years.