Oscar-winning director-screenwriter Paul Haggis was arrested on Sunday in the southern Italian town of Ostuni on charges of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury, according to multiple reports in the Italian media and a statement by the public prosecutors of the nearby city of Brindisi.
A young woman, who identified Haggis as being “foreign” and not Italian, has pressed charges on the two-time Oscar winner.
Haggis, best known for Crash and Million Dollar Baby, is accused of forcing her to engage in sexual intercourse over the course of two days in Ostuni.
Haggis was scheduled to hold a series of master classes at the Allora Fest, a new film festival launched by L.A.-based Italian journalist Silvia Bizio and Spanish art critic Sol Costales Doulton that is set to run from June 21-26.
Paul Haggis, who directed and co-wrote the Oscar-winning drama “Crash,” was arrested Sunday in Italy on charges of aggravated sexual violence and aggravated personal injuries, local police said. https://t.co/sSl38jAfOm
— The New York Times (@nytimes) June 19, 2022
UPDATE: In a statement written in Italian, the Allora Fest said it “will immediately eliminate any participation of the director from the event. At the same time, we express full solidarity with the woman involved in the matter.” Read the full statement: https://t.co/6LtyWbMHJK
— The Daily Beast (@thedailybeast) June 19, 2022
From The Hollywood Reporter:
The woman was taken to the Papola Casale airport in Brindisi on Sunday morning and left there despite her “precarious physical and psychological conditions,” according to an Italian police report. She was then aided by airport staff and police officers and taken to the hospital. She subsequently filed formal charges.
Prosecutors also were quoted as saying that the woman “formalized her complaint and cited circumstances which were subsequently looked into for confirmation by investigators.” They didn’t cite her nationality or age.
This isn’t the first time Haggis has faced rape accusations.
He has faced civil cases in the past that included multiple women.
Cont. from The Hollywood Reporter:
In 2018, the publicist Haleigh Breest sued Haggis, who wrote the Oscar-winning screenplay to Million Dollar Baby and wrote and directed Oscar best picture winner Crash, alleging he had violently raped her in her New York apartment after a premiere in 2013. In the wake of her allegations, three more women came forward with separate sexual misconduct allegations against Haggis. Haggis has denied all the claims.