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Director Paul Haggis arrested in Italy on charges of sexual assault



The director himself denies the allegations

Paul Haggis, the director of the Oscar-winning film Fatal Accident, was arrested in Italy on Sunday. He was detained on charges of sexually assaulting a young woman in the south of the country.

The 69-year-old Canadian director Paul Haggis was in Italy as a guest of the film festival, which will start on Tuesday in Ostuni, a tourist town in Apulia. The director’s lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, said in a press release that the director was “completely innocent”.

“Under Italian law, I am not allowed to discuss evidence,” she pointed out. “But if we leave that aside, I firmly believe that all the accusations against Mr. Haggis overthrown. He is completely innocent and ready to work with the authorities to bring the truth to light as soon as possible. “

The festival management confirmed to Variety magazine that “They are shocked by the news that Haggis has been detained for alleged violence.” They announced that they would “immediately delete any director’s participation in the festival” and expressed “one hundred percent solidarity with the woman involved”.

Paul Haggis is a producer, screenwriter and director who won an Oscar in 2006 for his screenplay Fatal accident (Crash). He later wrote more screenplays for A million-dollar girl and for bondiadi Quantum of compassion in Casino Royale and directed a feature film In the valley of death (In the Valley of Elah) in The Next Three Days.

Escaped from ScientologyYears ago, Haggis was a prominent member of the Church of Scientology, but later withdrew from it and also wrote extensively publicly about the difficult escape from the organization.

The LaPresse news agency published a written statement from the prosecutor’s office in nearby Brindisi, which is investigating allegations concerning a “young foreign woman” who was allegedly “forced into involuntary sexual intercourse” within two days.

The prosecution, led by Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando, said in a statement that “the woman was forced to seek medical help”. After several days of “involuntary sexual intercourse”, the perpetrator allegedly escorted her to Brindisi airport and left her there, despite her critical physical and mental condition.

According to the prosecution, both airport staff and police officers noticed the “confused state” of the woman and – after providing first aid – took her to the police station, from where she was sent to hospital for investigation.

According to the prosecution, the victim also “formalized her complaint” and stated circumstances that investigators were able to verify.

A long history of accusationsPaul Haggis was charged with four counts of sexual violence in the U.S. in 2018; two cases involved rape charges. The cases have not yet been heard by the court. Among other things, he was accused of rape by his publicist Haleigh Breest (the incident is said to have occurred in 2013), to which Haggis responded with a lawsuit for “extortion”. The other three women did not reveal their identities publicly.

Haggis categorically denied all allegations years ago, and in an interview with the Guardian, he also spoke about sexual harassment in Hollywood, which he described as a “rather sexist city.” “A lot of people have been outraged by Harvey’s alleged actions. While we all agree that this was disgusting behavior, we need to focus on everyone who worked with him and protected him.”

Source: Rtvslo

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