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Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis arrested over sexual assault allegations


Paul Haggis, the director of the Best-Picture-winning movie Crash, has been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault following an incident on Sunday, June 19th.

Detained in Ostuni, Italy, after an unnamed woman pressed charges, Haggis’ attorney, Priya Chaudhry, told Variety: “Under Italian law, I cannot discuss the evidence…That said, I am confident that all allegations will be dismissed against Mr. Haggis”.

Continuing, the statement added, “He is totally innocent and willing to fully cooperate with the authorities so the truth comes out quickly”. 

After having attended the Allora Fest film festival from June 21st to June 26th, prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando, claim the woman was “forced to seek medical help” after the “non-consensual” sexual relations. 

Haggis is well-known for directing and writing the Oscar-winning movie Crash, as well as for co-writing the James Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

This isn’t the first time that Haggis has been accused of similar crimes, with the filmmaker sued in 2018 by the publicist Haleigh Breest who claims that Haggis raped her after a film screening in 2013. Three other women came out with similar stories of sexual misconduct, whilst Haggis strongly denies such claims. 

Haggis’ latest trial is currently pending due to Covid-19 delays.