Even now, Nguyen, 44, continues to second-guess her actions of that night. In a two-hour meeting with Variety last week at a West Hollywood park, she vacillated between holding Toback responsible and scrutinizing her own decisions to overlook the red flags leading up to that encounter.
“I’m haunted and terrorized by the choices I made,” concedes Nguyen. “When it comes to my experience with James Toback and the film, I chose to go upstairs in his townhouse after being hired and told we wouldn’t be alone. I chose to share my deepest pain of being molested, and he used that pain against me for his own perverse needs.”
In the weeks since the toppling of Oscar-winning producer Harvey Weinstein for alleged sexual harassment and rape, Hollywood has experienced a tectonic shift in which long-silenced victims are reclaiming power and finding safety in numbers. Joining Weinstein is a growing roster of alleged perpetrators including actor Kevin Spacey, former Amazon Studios chief Roy Price, NBC News journalist Mark Halperin, APA talent agent Tyler Grasham, Nickelodeon showrunner Chris Savino and others. The stories vary in gravity — from suggestive innuendos to groping to requests for sexual favors to outright assault — but they nonetheless illustrate how perpetrators have acted largely with impunity for years and in some instances have been protected by victims’ signing nondisclosure agreements in exchange for settlements