Italian magistrates have dismissed state prosecutors’ plea to re-detail Canadian filmmaker Paul Haggis while investigations into sexual assault claims against him continue. Judges Livia Orlando and Gualberto Buccarelli, according to Deadline and the Italian news agency ANSA, have overturned the request. For those who are unaware, the scriptwriter was detained 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 abusing her repeatedly from June 12 to June 15.
Investigating Paul Haggis’s sexual assault accusations
The claimed victim and Haggis initially met at the Monte Carlo Film Festival, according to Deadline, following 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 Oscar-winning director’s Italian lawyer, Michele Laforgia, told The Hollywood Reporter that the appeals court justices “unanimously rejected the prosecutor’s petition to restore Haggis’ house arrest.”
Laforgia also said that until there is evidence against him, prosecutors must conclude the case against Paul Haggis, which the filmmaker and his legal team apparently anticipated doing in the following weeks. Furthermore, the Crash author is facing another legal case 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 owing to COVID-19-related delays, an official date has been set for October 11. According to The Hollywood Reporter, Haggis said that his meeting with the film publicist was mutual. However, after Breest went public with her charges against Paul Haggis, four more women made similar claims against him.
More about the career of Paul Haggis
For almost 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. In addition, he has 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 widespread recognition.
In the Valley of Elah, starring Tommy Lee Jones, Charlize Theron, and Susan Sarandon, 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, which included a number of well-known actors, including Liam Neeson, Olivia Wilde, and Mila Kunis.