The Hollywood sexual abuse scandal widened Monday after 38 women were reported to have accused US film director James Toback of unwanted sexual encounters over a period of decades .
Toback reeled them in with boasts about his movie career and connections and with claims he could make them a star , according to their accounts to the Los Angeles Times.
But in meetings framed as interviews or auditions , he allegedly would turn disturbingly personal , with questions veering to masturbation and pubic hair , the Times said .
“He told me he ’d love nothing more than to masturbate while looking into my eyes, ” Louise Post, who met Toback in 1987 while attending Barnard College , told the Times.
“Going to his apartment has been the source of shame for the past 30 years , that I allowed myself to be so gullible , ” said Post, who is now a guitarist and singer for Veruca Salt , an indie rock band .
Toback denied the allegations, telling the Times he had never met the women or if he did it “was for five minutes and have no recollection.”
Toback , who is now 72 , has been a writer and film director since 1974 . His most recent movie “ The Private Life of a Modern Woman ,” starring Sienna Miller , premiered this year at the Venice Film Festival .
In 1987 , he made the semi -autobiographical “The Pick – up Artist .”
Other credits include the Oscar – nominated screenplay for “Bugsy ,” directed by Barry Levinson and starring Warren Beatty and Annette Bening .
The Times said it interviewed all 38 women who came forth separately — 31 of them on the record — as well as people they had spoken to about the incidents at the time.
None had reported the encounters to the police at the time .
A cascade of accounts by women of sexual abuse has flooded social media under the hashtag # MeToo since a similar scandal surrounding movie mogul Harvey Weinstein erupted earlier this month.
A Who’ s Who of actresses and models have come forward to accuse Weinstein of rape, sexual assault and harassment , and of using his intimidating power in Hollywood to keep his behaviour hushed up .
Weinstein , who is reported to have checked himself into a rehab program in Arizona for sexual addicts , insists all his sexual encounters have been consensual.
Criminal investigations in his case are underway in New York , London and Los Angeles.