On December 5, 2022, Nix Patterson LLP filed a lawsuit in New York against former film director James Toback and the Harvard Club of New York City. The lawsuit was filed on the behalf of dozens of women who claim that Toback sexually harassed and assaulted them over many years, oftentimes at the Harvard Club of New York City where Toback was a member.
The lawsuit alleges that for decades, Toback prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women. He would approach them and introduce himself as an award-winning film director who had worked on “Bugsy” with Warren Beatty and directed Robert Downey Jr. in various movies, such as “The Pick-up Artist.”
Toback would tell the aspiring young women that he was well-known in Hollywood and could make them stars. He would use this line to persuade his victims to meet with him in private for “auditions,” which quickly became unwanted sexual encounters.
In a 2017 Los Angeles Times article, reporter Glenn Whipp wrote that 38 women had accused Toback of sexual harassment. In the months following the article, another 357 women contacted Whipp about their traumatic experiences with Toback.
Many victims alleged that they were sexually assaulted at the Harvard Club of New York City. The lawsuit states that as a Harvard alumnus, Toback leveraged the prestige of the Harvard Club to take advantage of women, assaulting them in the hallways, stairwells, and hotel rooms of the club for years, going back to the 1980s. Toback’s access to the Harvard Club went unchecked for decades until his membership was revoked in 2017 after the Los Angeles Times story broke.
At the time the article was published, Toback’s victims had little recourse since the statute of limitations for the crimes against them had expired. However, under the recently enacted New York Adult Survivors Act, which revives expired claims, the women who were abused in New York were able to file a civil lawsuit against the director. The Harvard Club has been named as a defendant in the lawsuit for its complicity in allowing Toback to use the club facilities as his lair.
Nix Patterson filed the civil action in New York state court on December 5. Nix Patterson is a full service plaintiffs law firm with expertise in civil claims arising from sexual abuse and assault. The firm has successfully represented victims of heinous sexual abuse and assault crimes in courts across the country.