Nearly 40 women have come forward with accusations of sexual harassment against Hollywood director James Toback. According to a bombshell report by the Los Angeles Times, Toback has “prowled the streets of Manhattan looking for attractive young women, usually in their 20s, sometimes college students, on occasion a high schooler.”
The Los Angeles Times report stated that Toback had a go-to line when approaching the women: “My name’s James Toback. I’m a movie director. Have you ever seen Black and White or Two Girls and a Guy?” If the women said “no,” he allegedly name dropped various movie stars with a promise that he could make them a star. If the women were receptive to his offer, the report says he’d lure them to a private area before things turned sexual.
Toback, 72, has written, directed, and produced various films since the 1980s, many of which have various sexual tones to them. He’s been married twice, most recently to Stephanie Kempf, a writer and teacher. The couple has one child together.
Here’s what you need to know:
1. Stephanie Is Toback’s Second Wife & They Have a Son Together
James’ first marriage was to Consuelo Sarah Churchill Vanderbilt Russell, the daughter of Lady Sarah Spencer Churchill and second cousin of Winston Churchill. They were married for just one year (1968-1969) before they decided to divorce.
It is unclear exactly when James met Stephanie or when they got married, but they have one teenage son named Andre.
Stephanie has worked as a writer over the years and edited 1989’s The Big Bang, a film that Toback wrote and directed. The documentary featured Toback asking questions about philosophy, why we’re here and where we’re going. He asks the questions to celebrities and ordinary people.
You can check out the film in the video below.
2. Stephanie Is a Writer & Teacher
Stephanie started teaching during the early 1990s and spoke about how two board members of the World Hunger Year (WhyHunger) inspired her career. She said she was teaching literature courses at a public high school in New York City when Jane and Larry Levine presented hunger-awareness workshops to sixth graders.
“I was struck by Larry’s descriptions of young people who were surprised to hear that hunger actually exists in the U.S.,” she wrote in a sourcebook.
Stephanie continued to attend the Levines’ workshops and learned more about how to educate students about the issue. Raising awareness and educating people about world hunger quickly became a fixture of her career.
3. James Said He Introduced Stephanie to an Actress in 1 of His Films Who Said She ‘Trusted [Him] With Everything’
In 1983, Toback wrote and directed Exposed, a film about a Midwestern farm girl who leaves her family and lover behind, escaping to New York. There, she made a career as a fashion model but is approached by a mysterious man who’s motives are unclear, Michel Hafner described in a plot summary on IMDb.
“I introduced Stephanie and Nastassia and said to her: ‘Whatever you may hear about me or think about men in general, there will never be a situation between us.’ Without missing a beat, she said, ‘If you really mean that, I will trust you with everything.’ I was very close to her father–a hilarious, tremendously likeable guy–who isn’t capable of being around any female without projecting some sense of sexual aggression or menace. You can’t come from that–and look like that–and not see the whole male gender as predatory. Since Nastassia is actually this goofy, frustrated, wild, disconnected creature with no sense of her own sexuality or appeal who feels she’s occupying the wrong body, it makes it even stranger to her that people are always approaching her.”
4. Stephanie Thanked James for His Support in Her Sourcebook
In 2009, Stephanie published a sourcebook for middle and upper school teachers about how children can make a difference in “Finding Solutions to Hunger.” In the acknowledgement page of the book, she thanked her parents “for their unwavering support and excitement about the project” and also thanked her husband.
“Finally, to James Toback, my love and appreciation,” she wrote. “[Thank you] for introducing me to the power of words, and providing the intellectual nourishment and material and emotional support that kept me moving forward.”
The sourcebook described how worldwide hunger is a major issue in the world and described her “The Kids Can Make a Difference” program. First, she established what hunger is by providing statistics and then answered why people are hungry. Finally, she described the steps used so that people can help end hunger.
5. Stephanie Is Catholic & Her Father Was a Real Estate Developer Known for His Philanthropy
Stephanie’s father was named Greg Kempf and her mother is Edwina Kempf. She’s one of nine children. Mr. Kempf had a career in building and real estate development in Evansville, Indiana, and was very active in the church.
According to a 2005 ArchIndy.org newsletter, Kempf was known for his philanthropy and was a supporter of several ministries in Indiana. So much so, that the former Benedictine Archabbot Timothy Sweeney of Saint Meinrad renamed its library in honor of him. He was the chairman of a campaign which raised $7.5 million.
“Greg was an outstanding entrepreneur and a very generous man,” Archbishop Daniel M. Buechlein said in a newsletter. “He was a man of deep and unswerving faith. He was passionate about the Catholic Church and about the preparation of future priests and religious. Greg was a strong family man,” he added.
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