Paul Haggis detained in Italy in sexual assault case: report

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The Academy Award winning film director was Paul Haggis. Detained in Italy on Sunday As part of an investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman, Italian news media quoted local prosecutors as saying.

Haggis, 69, is in Italy for a film festival that begins Tuesday in Ostuni, a tourist town in Puglia that forms the “heel” of the Italian peninsula.

The news agency LaPresse and several other Italian media received a written statement from prosecutors in the nearby city of Brindisi that they were investigating allegations that a “young foreign woman” was forced to have “non-consensual” sex over two days. it was done.

Prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando, who are investigating, said in a statement that the woman was “forced to seek medical care” after having sex.

Paul Haggis attends the 19th Monte-Carlo Film Festival de la Comédie at the Grimaldi Forum on April 30, 2022 in Monaco, Monaco.
(Daniel Venturelli)

A few days later “after a non-consensual relationship, the woman was taken to Brindisi airport with the man” on Sunday and “released at dawn despite (her) precarious physical and psychological conditions.”

The Brindisi prosecutor’s office was closed on Sunday. Haggis’s lawyer did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

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Prosecutors said airport staff and police saw him in an “apparently confused state” and, after giving him initial treatment, took him to police headquarters in Brindisi, where officers accompanied him to a local hospital to examine him.

Officials said they were not authorized to provide details about the case, including whether Haggis was held at a police station or in a hotel or other accommodation.

Prosecutors were also quoted as saying that the woman “formalized her complaint and cited circumstances that were later seen by investigators to be confirmed.”

He did not mention his nationality or age.

Haggis won the Oscar for Best Original Screenplay for “Crash” in 2006.

The Canadian director, who also wrote “Million Dollar Baby” and “Flags of Our Fathers”, has been accused of rape and sexual misconduct by a total of four women, citing incidents that allegedly took place between 1996 and 2015. .

According to the AP, the first charge came in the form of a civil lawsuit, which prompted the other three women to come forward under condition of anonymity.

Haggis was a Scientologist for 35 years and left the church in 2009. Soon after the lawsuits, Leah Remini and her “Scientology and the Aftermath” co-host, Mike Rinder, issued a lengthy statement defending Haggis, claiming that the women may have questionable motivation to come forward.

He wrote, “In today’s environment there are plenty of reasons to worry about defending anyone accused of sexual assault. But the fear of the consequences of speaking the truth hasn’t held us back in the past and doesn’t start now. is gonna be.” “We have supported victims of sexual abuse who reached out to us and worked with them and law enforcement to ensure justice for both the victims and the accused. We have avoided trial by the media.”

In his post, he defends Haggis’ character and suggests that the Church of Scientology is behind three additional charges that are “suddenly popping out of the woodwork.”

“We expect that the next ‘revelations’ about Paul Haggis in this campaign to destroy him as more ‘anonymous’ accusers will be based on information taken from his Scientology files, hidden behind a lawyer. Those who will never have to disclose who is paying their bills.”

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The Associated Press contributed to this report.