Selma Blair is once again speaking out about James Toback, the writer-director who has allegedly harassed over 300 women, per a Los Angeles Times report.
The Legally Blonde actress was one of the first Hollywood accusers to come out against Toback. On her Monday episode of The Talk, she revealed that The Gambler writer allegedly threatened her with violence should she come forward about harassment suffered at his hands.
"This was weighing on me. I've literally been afraid for 17 years of James Toback who threatened to murder me and, you know, put cement shoes on and gouge my eyes out with a Bic pen if I ever told anybody," Blair said during her appearance on The Talk. "I was mortally afraid for a really long time."
Per Variety, five sex crime cases against Toback were submitted to the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s office. Toback has previously denied the allegations against him.
Blair also praised the #MeToo movement, stating that it was what helped her come forward and tell her truth — and also support women who were placed in similar situations.
"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."
Eventually, Blair and actress Rachel McAdams took their allegations of harassment to 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 on the roundtable show. "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's story shows the importance of the #MeToo movement, especially when it comes to habitual predators. Often, survivors of sexual misconduct feel alone in their struggle, or are too afraid of the ramifications if they spoke up. (The Time's Up initiative will help less financially privileged women deal with the fiscal fallout of reporting sexual misconduct. It has already raised $13 million dollars for that particular cause.) As Blair states, there is power in numbers, and by telling her story, she may have protected the next person from an alleged predator.
Refinery29 has reached out to representatives for Blair and will update this post should they have comment. Representatives for Toback could not be identified at this time. He previously denied allegations of sexual misconduct to the Los Angeles Times.
If you have experienced sexual violence and are in need of crisis support, please call the RAINN Sexual Assault Hotline at 1-800-656-HOPE (4673).
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