Hollywood Director Claims Innocence After Sexual Assault Arrest In Italy

Canadian Film Centre, CC BY 2.0

“Crash” director Paul Haggis was taken into police custody in Italy on Sunday, after being accused of sexually assaulting a woman.   


According to reports from the Italian media, Haggis, 69, who is in the country for the upcoming Allora film festival, was detained when law enforcement authorities opened an investigation into allegations made by a “young foreign woman,” who was forced to have “non-consensual” sex with the Academy Award winner for two days. 


Prosecutors said the woman was “forced to seek medical care” after the “non-consensual relations,” and was left at an airport in Brindisi at dawn on Sunday morning, after the man who accompanied her there abandoned the woman, “despite (her) precarious physical and psychological conditions.” 


She was taken to a local police station when airport staff noticed her “obvious confused state,” and officers escorted her to a hospital to be examined. 


The “Million Dollar Baby” writer’s lawyer believes the accusations against his client are not true and will be dropped. 


“Under Italian Law, I cannot discuss the evidence,” Priya Chaudhry told Fox News on Sunday. “That said, I am confident that all allegations will be dismissed against Mr. Haggis. He is totally innocent, and willing to fully cooperate with the authorities so the truth comes out quickly.”

This isn’t the first time the “Walker, Texas Ranger” creator has been accused of sexual misconduct. Publicist Haleigh Breest sued Haggis for allegedly “violently” raping her in New York after a 2013 movie premiere. 


In court documents, Haggis claimed that her attorney sought “a seven figure payday,” to drop the civil suit. “The clear goal of defendant’s demand for such an absurd amount of money…is to scare him into giving this windfall to her to avoid his public hanging,” he said. “This is, quite simply, extortion.” 


Three other women came forward with similar accusations and the lawsuit is still ongoing. 

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