Ellen Pompeo is the second Grey's Anatomy star to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct against director James Toback. Late last month, Caterina Scorsone, who plays Dr. Amelia Shepherd on the show, revealed that Toback sexually propositioned her over seventeen years ago. According to the LA Times, over 200 women have contacted them with similar stories about the director. Now, Pompeo has spoken to USA Today about a similar experience she had early in her career.
"I actually did have a situation with James Toback where I kind of told him to go [expletive] himself," she told the outlet. "It was held in a public place and I brought a man — my friend Tony. And he didn't like that at all. And I could tell that. I could tell instantly that he was, like, no good."
Apparently, as soon as her friend Tony left, Toback switched gears and asked the actress if she would "get naked in a movie."
"And I was like, 'Really, dude? My friend has been missing all of 30 seconds and now you say that?'" she remembered. "I kind of laughed in his face."
Pompeo revealed that she has also interacted with Harvey Weinstein — allegations against whom kick-started this flood of women coming forward about men all over the industry — but luckily was spared the experience so many other women allegedly faced.
"I met with Harvey at the Peninsula and he didn't try anything on me," she explained. "I was very lucky. I escaped those clutches."
She credits her success in the industry – and why she's stuck with Grey's – to the unfortunate truth that she knew what she was up against.
"I've been so lucky and maybe part of my choice to stay was [due to] knowing exactly what my environment was," Pompeo continued. "Going out there and auditioning for jobs and basically having to beg men and get their approval for jobs was never fun for me. Even though I didn't have any terrible experiences like some of these poor girls, this is the environment and you're aware of it. I'm very grateful in my choice to stay in my safe space."
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call theRAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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