Selma Blair reveals disturbing new details about Hollywood producer James Toback

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Susan Devaney
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Actress Selma Blair has revealed writer-director James Toback threatened to “gouge” her eyes out. 

Selma Blair is continuing the conversation about Hollywood director James Toback by sharing more details about the alleged sexual abuse she faced from him.

Appearing as a guest on The Talk, Blair revealed that she’s been scared for many years after Toback allegedly threatened to kill her.

“I’ve literally been afraid for 17 years of James Toback who threatened to murder me, put cement shoes on [me] and gouge my eyes out with a Bic pen if I ever told anybody,” Blair said on Monday (15 January). “I was mortally afraid for a really long time.”

Blair then went on to praise the #MeToo “moment” that turned into a “movement”, acknowledging that as more women came forward to share their stories she found the courage to do so too.

“I started looking on Twitter, and [saw] #JamesToback. There were a couple of inklings. I was like, ‘Oh, wait.’ I got in touch with these women, and we got in touch with [director] Scott Derrickson, a wonderful man who was like, ‘This is a great thing for women, if you can really show their story,’ and so I did, but I wouldn’t go on the record. I was so afraid,” Blair explained. 

After Toback denied the alleged sexual abuse accounts of 38 women detailed in an exposé by the Los Angeles Times, which Blair anonymously contributed to, she decided to take further action.

The Cruel Intentions actress was then one of the first Hollywood accusers to publicly come out against him along with fellow actress Rachel McAdams after they agreed to share their allegations of sexual harassment with Vanity Fair.

“I went to Krista Smith at Vanity Fair after James Toback called these women [liars], and that this never existed. All 38 women who came forward, from all different walks of life,” Blair explained.

“I said, ‘If I can be a bigger voice, I will.’ My prayer… was that there will be women much bigger than me who will be taken much more seriously… and it did. It really is happening.”

Blair alleges that in 1999, against her “better judgment”, she met Toback in his hotel room after he changed the location of a work meeting.

She says that he told her he would be her mentor, then pressured her into delivering a monologue while undressed.

When she refused to have sex with him, Blair says Toback masturbated against her leg and forced her to look at him as he did so.

Describing him as “sinister”, she alleges: “He said, ‘It’s OK. I can come in my pants. I have to rub up against your leg. You have to pinch my nipples. And you have to look into my eyes.’

“I thought, “Well, if I can get out of here without being raped […]

“He walked me back to the bed. He sat me down. He got on his knees […] I tried to look away, but he would hold my face.”

Actress Rachel McAdams says she also had a disturbing experience in a hotel room with Toback. 

Toback then alluded to having people killed.

At the time of writing, five sex crime cases against Toback have been filed to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office, and according to Blair 359 women have accused Toback of sexual assault.

“I do think James Toback belongs in jail,” Blair said. “It is a lot of he-said she-said, but people have come to me personally that he’s done much worse to, and yes, I do believe he deserves to be in jail.”

But Blair stressed that both the Time’s Up initiative and #MeToo movement have allowed women to make real progress.

“It feels incredible, and it’s a long time coming for us, for all of us,” Blair said.

Since multiple allegations were first made against Toback in October 2017 a police investigation was launched and is currently ongoing.

Toback has denied all allegations made against him.

Images: Rex Features