the industry

Alec Baldwin Breaks Silence on His Friend James Toback: ‘I Had No Idea’

Alec Baldwin. Photo: Mike Windle/Getty Images for Turner

Amid media and industry pressure to distance himself from James Toback — now accused of sexual misconduct by over 300 women — Alec Baldwin says he’s heartbroken to learn of the allegations, because he only thought of his friend as a harmless Lothario. “I never had any idea that Jimmy’s appetites took him in that direction. I had no idea,” Baldwin told the Los Angeles Times. “I’ve never known anything about that in my entire life. I never knew of anything where Jimmy assaulted or bullied or pressured. I’ve never heard anything other than that Jimmy was somebody who hit on a lot of women in a very vague way.” That “vague way” matches how women have described their interactions with Toback: He allegedly walks up to them, shows them newspaper clippings of his accomplishments, and makes a pass at them. “I never knew any details of what he did that was assault in nature or rape in nature or criminally actionable,” Baldwin told the Times. “Never, never, never.”

The fallout from Toback’s hundreds of allegations, and the ongoing Harvey Weinstein scandal, Baldwin says, has been prompted by President Trump. “Where we are now … there is some veneer to it of complexity because they can’t get the guy they really want to get. [Donald] Trump is a sexual predator,” Baldwin said. “On the record, there’s all kinds of evidence that Trump has behaved this way, and he’s the president of the United States and that being just one of the things that is horrifying people about Trump, his opinions, his behavior, his methodology and there’s nothing you can do about that. You cannot touch him.” Baldwin said he looks back fondly on times he spent working with Toback and when their families would vacation together, and that he’s spoken to him since the Times story broke: “I spoke with him a couple of times. He’s obviously crushed by all of this. I did call him, and I think he understands how people are. There’s not much people can do for him now.”

Alec Baldwin Breaks Silence on James Toback: ‘I Had No Idea’