Actress Rachel McAdams disclosed the horrifying details of her encounter with disgraced director James Toback and how he used an audition to tell her about his masturbation habits.
“I did not want to talk about this ever again,” McAdams told Vanity Fair about the incident that happened when she was only 21. “However, even though it is a really bad memory, I feel like some good could come from talking about it now.”
After a report of Toback’s alleged harassment of 38 women broke, more than 200 other women came forward with their horror stories of encounters with the now 72 year-old director of “The Pick-Up Artist” and “Two Girls and Guy.”
Following the bombshell accusations of alleged sexual harassment by Hollywood titan Harvey Weinstein, McAdams felt motivated to speak out about her own experience with Toback whom she said she met when she was in theater school.
Toback invited her to meet in his hotel room to audition for a role in his upcoming film, “Harvard Man.” McAdams hesitated but ended up going after he insisted they needed to workshop the part.
“So I went over to the hotel, went to the room, and he had all of these books and magazines splayed out on the floor,” the 38 year-old Canadian actress told Vanity Fair. “He invited me to sit on the floor which was a bit awkward. Pretty quickly the conversation turned quite sexual and he said, ‘You know, I just have to tell you. I have masturbated countless times today thinking about you since we met at your audition.'”
McAdams recalled that Toback used classic language that is taught in acting classes, telling students they have to take risks and will sometimes feel uncomfortable, but the seemingly dangerous situations will help them grow as actors.
“How brave are you? How far you are willing to go as an actress? I want to build some intimacy between us because we have to have a very trusting relationship and this is a very difficult part,” Toback allegedly said to the young actress.
“Then he went to the bathroom and left me with some literature to read about him,” McAdams continued. “When he came back he said, ‘I just jerked off in the bathroom thinking about you. Will you show me your pubic hair?’ I said no.”
She told Vanity Fair she eventually excused herself, but felt a sense of shame afterward.
“This has been such a source of shame for me—that I didn’t have the wherewithal to get up and leave,” she said, admitting she was very naive at the time.
“I just kept trying to normalize it—thinking, ‘This has to be some weird acting exercise. This is some kind of test. I just have to show that I am brave and this does not bother me and nothing can shake me.’ I really was frozen. My brain was not catching up,” she added.
McAdams, who has starred in the comedies “Mean Girls” and “Wedding Crashers,” as well as the romantic drama “The Notebook,” is one of over 200 women who have come forward with accusations against Toback, which he has denied.
McAdams revealed her anger at her agent as well who, after she recounted the incident, admitted that she knew Toback had behaved a similar way with other actresses.
“I just think there is an ‘anything goes’ [attitude] in Hollywood that gets taken too far. And there is a sense that you don’t have to be responsible for your actions—there is just no limit to what you can be subjected to,” she told Vanity Fair, saying the “pervasive” problem in Hollywood is an “epidemic” that must be brought into the light.
“I think we almost have to exhaust ourselves sharing our experiences before the rebuilding can begin,” she said.
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