In the Italian town of Ostuni, filmmaker and screenwriter Paul Haggis, who has won an Academy Award for his work, was held on Sunday on allegations of sexual assault and physical harm.
According to The Hollywood Reporter, these allegations against the filmmaker were brought up by a lady who could not be considered of Italian descent. The lady said that Haggis coerced her into having sexual contact with him when they were both in Ostuni for two days. Haggis was meant to teach a few master classes at an event called the Allora Fest, held in Los Angeles. The woman’s allegations were made public in Ostuni.
The lady was then delivered to the Papola Casale airport in the Italian city of Brindisi, as stated in a report submitted by the Italian police. However, she left the premises despite being described as “precarious bodily and psychological circumstances.”
The lady was reportedly assisted by airport personnel and police officers, who brought her to a nearby hospital for treatment. After then, she initiated the legal process against Haggis by filing charges.
The lady was able to “formalize her complaint and describe facts which were then looked into for confirmation by detectives,” according to the prosecutors, who validated this information. On the other hand, neither her age nor her country of origin was mentioned.
Paul Haggis has been accused of sexual misconduct in the past as well, and the allegations were quite similar. A film publicist by the name of Haleigh Breest filed a lawsuit against the filmmaker in 2018, accusing him of raping her in 2013 at his flat after a movie screening.
After some time had passed, three other women came forward and leveled claims of sexual assault against Haggis. However, Haggis refuted the charges made by these women, stating that as a prominent opponent of Scientology, he was used to defending himself against “false allegations.”
“Crash,” a film that Haggis wrote and directed in 2004, was honored with the Academy Award for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay. In addition, he was nominated for an Academy Award in the best-adapted screenplay category for his work on “Million Dollar Baby.”