Italian magistrates Prosecutors have rejected pleas to reprise Canadian filmmaker Paul Haggis, as the investigation into charges against him continues. Judges Livia Orlando and Gualberto Buccarelli have quashed the request, according to Deadline and the Italian news agency ANSA. For those who don’t know, the screenwriter was arrested on June 19 when a 28-year-old lady of British descent accused him of sexual assault. According to Deadline, the lady accused Haggis of repeatedly abusing her from June 12 to June 15.
Investigation into allegations of sexual assault against Paul Haggis
The alleged victim and Haggis initially met at the Monte Carlo Film Festival, according to Deadline, after which the lady was asked to see Haggis in Ostuni. After being arrested for assault, Haggis was placed under house arrest for 16 days at the hotel where he was staying. The filmmaker stayed in Ostuni and did not leave Italy. The Italian lawyer for the Oscar-winning director, Michele Laforgia, told The Hollywood Reporter that the appeals court judges “unanimously rejected the prosecution’s request to have Haggis reinstated under house arrest.”
Laforgia also said prosecutors must close the case against Paul Haggis until there is evidence against him, which the filmmaker and his legal team apparently expected to do in the coming weeks. In addition, the author of Crash is facing another lawsuit in the United States, as film publicist Haleigh Breest filed a lawsuit against him in 2018, alleging that he raped her in January 2013. While the trial for this case was pending due to COVID-19 related delays, an official date has been set for October 11. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Haggis said his meeting with the film publicist was mutual. However, after Breest made her charges against Paul Haggis public, four more women made similar claims against him.
More about the career of Paul Haggis
For nearly 20 years, Haggis has established himself as a filmmaker. He won two Academy Awards for Best Screenplay for his work on the films Crash and Million Dollar Baby. He also appeared in two Clint Eastwood films, Flags of Our Fathers and Letters from Iwo Jima. The screenwriter also contributed to the 2006 James Bond film Casino Royale, for which he received wide recognition.
In the Valley of Elah, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron and Susan Sarandon in the lead roles, was written, directed and produced by Haggis in 2007. He was a production assistant on the film The Next Three Days, starring Russell Crowe, Liam Neeson, and Elizabeth Banks. In 2013, he appeared in the drama Third Person, starring a number of well-known actors including Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde and Mila Kunis.