Harvey Weinstein may be a kingmaker, but semi-famous men also whip their dicks out under the auspices of professional opportunities. In other words, another wave of sexual assault stories have come out against “you-wanna-be-a-star?” guys, from the A to the D-lists.
The most famous is Roman Polanski, whom artist Marianne Barnard has now accused of raping her at the age of ten, during a beach photo shoot with the vague premise of some kind of magazine spread. She told the Sun Online:
“First he was taking pictures of me in the bikini, then it was with the coat then he said take off the bikini top, which I was comfortable with as I was only 10 and I often ran around with no top on.
“But then he wanted me to take my bikini bottoms off - I started to feel very uncomfortable. Then at some point I realized my mom had gone. I don’t know where she went and I didn’t really register her leaving but she was no longer there. Then he molested me.”
As the generations-old story goes, Polanski pled guilty to unlawful sexual intercourse with 13-year-old Samantha Geimer while she modeled with him for a private photo shoot for Vogue in 1977, and then fled the country a day before his sentencing and went on to make the Oscar award-winning film The Pianist. (See if you can spot Harvey Weinstein amongst the white dudes clapping).
That now adds up to five women who have accused Polanski of sexually assaulting them as minors, including former actress Renate Langer when she was 15, British actress Charlotte Lewis when she was 16, a woman identified as “Robin M.” when she was 16. Barnard, the latest accuser, has started a petition for the Academy to kick him out, as they did to Weinstein last week.
Now 38 women have brought writer/director James Toback to the attention of the Los Angeles Times. Toback is described on IMDb as “highly respected as a screenwriter and the director of nine films,” among them, the documentary Tyson and The Gambler (I didn’t know him either) and allegedly invited women over for meetings so he could dry hump or jerk off in front of them. But the lead-up is the same old:
His opening line had a few variations. 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’?”
Probably not. So he’d start to drop names. He had an Oscar nomination for writing the Warren Beatty movie “Bugsy.” He directed Robert Downey Jr., in three movies. The actor, Toback claimed, was a close friend; he had “invented him.” If you didn’t believe him, he would pull out a business card or an article that had been written about him to prove he had some juice in Hollywood. That he could make you a star.
Toback told the paper that the sex acts were “biologically impossible” because he had diabetes and a heart condition, which sounds like he’s taking the position that he hasn’t masturbated in 22 years. (The Times also put out a thorough investigation into how Harvey Weinstein used fashion industry as a personal well of models, which is worth a read).
In all of this, the moral high ground has ceded to 14-year-old Stranger Things actor Finn Wolfhard, who has reportedly left his agent Tyler Grasham after two men alleged that one of its agents sexually assaulted them; one, former child actor Blaise Godbe Lipman, said Grasham got him drunk at a dinner meeting while he was a teenager and sexually assaulted him.
The agency APA had already fired Grasham, but Wolfhard left the APA anyway, maybe to take a stand, or maybe just didn’t like the idea of hanging around rapists (alleged or not). That’s pretty depressing. Adults are explaining Harvey Weinstein to 14-year-olds right now.