If only he knew someone in media.
Newsman Chuck Scarborough says he got a credible tip that James Toback was a sexual predator in the 1990s — but he only had enough information to broadcast it in-house.
Speaking at Audrey Gruss’ Hope for Depression Research Foundation Luncheon, Scarborough confessed that a producer friend warned him about Toback when the allegedly deviant director reached out to his daughter Elizabeth, a 20-year-old aspiring actress, about film work.
“He is a despicable reprehensible human being who should be nowhere near your daughter under any circumstance,” a visibly upset Scarborough recalled his friend warning him. “So instead of getting a return call from Elizabeth Scarborough, he got a return call from Elizabeth Scarborough’s dad and that was the end of it for my daughter.”
Director James Toback stands accused of sexual misconduct toward more that three dozen women.
(Pascal Le Segretain/Getty Images)
Toback stands accused of harassing or assaulting 38 women, according to a Los Angeles Times report that was published late last month. Toback has denied the claims.
Reading that article brought back memories for the 74-year-old newsman, who stepped away from doing NBC’s 11 p.m. in July after 42 years on the job. He still does the 6 p.m. broadcast.
“My daughter is now 38 and, 18 years ago, my producer friend — and I presume everyone in Hollywood — knew precisely what was going on with James Toback and Harvey Weinstein and their alleged behavior,” he said. “This was an open secret in the film industry.”
Hollywood stars accused of sexual harassment and assault
Scarborough then praised actress Ashley Judd, who was a Hope Award honoree at Wednesday’s luncheon, for speaking out against Weinstein in the New York Times last month. By putting a name and a face to longstanding rumors of sexual misconduct by the Miramax founder, Judd freed up media outlets to write about Weinstein with fewer legal concerns, the newsman implied.
“That article could not have happened without the courage of Ashley Judd, who was willing to speak openly on the record about her experience with one of the most powerful men in her business,” he said to a roar of applause from the Plaza Hotel crowd.
“What’s happened since then has been astonishing,” Scarborough said. “I’ve never seen a tsunami like this in my life. The Weinstein effect. Through tech, through media, through the food industry, the Weinstein effect has gone global.”
With Brian Niemietz