Paul Haggis Arrested on Sexual Assault Charges in Italy

The woman who accused Paul Haggis of a series of brutal sexual assaults holds a British passport and told investigators one attack was so violent it rendered her unable to have sex, after which he dropped her off at an airport with money but no ticket, according to new details that emerged Monday.

Haggis was arrested in Italy over the weekend on charges of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury, according to local reports. An unidentified woman claims Haggis, 70, raped her over multiple days in the town of Ostuni, where he was scheduled to hold a series of master classes at Allora Fest this week, according to Corriere della Serra. The local film festival has canceled his appearances and distanced himself from the Canadian filmmaker.

Haggis’ longtime attorney has denied the allegations, the latest to surface against the “Crash” director and “Million Dollar Baby” writer who’s been accused by four other women. The Oscar winner publicly left Scientology in 2009 and has claimed the church is behind the accusations.

According to local reports, police in the Italian city of Brindisi say the latest accuser’s injuries are consistent with her claims. “I was raped for days,” she told police, according to arrest documents obtained by TheDailyBeast. “We were supposed to work together, but instead he raped me from Sunday evening to Wednesday.”

She told investigators he then drove her for an hour to the Brindisi airport where he left her in the pre-dawn hours with no ticket, but money to buy one when the airlines opened. Police say she was discovered cowering in a corner by a flight attendant who told them: “ella She was destroyed. She spoke with difficulty.”

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The woman was examined at an airport clinic and taken to a hospital for treatment and psychological counseling, according to the reports. Authorities said she suffered repeated nonconsensual assaults including one so brutal she was left unable to have sex and “forced to seek medical attention,” which she says ended her ordeal.

Italian authorities say they’re looking at camera footage from Haggis’ hotel and the airport that reportedly corroborates their movements. The Daily Beast says police waited until the woman was safely out of the country before arresting Haggis, whose family had joined him by then. He was held in Brindisi overnight and was released under house arrest awaiting arraignment.

Haggis had previously been accused of sexual abuse by four other women, including a publicist who accused him in 2018 of raping her at a premiere and is pursuing a civil lawsuit. Haggis has vehemently denied all wrongdoing, and his ex-wife has publicly supported his denials.

“I am confident that all allegations will be dismissed against Mr. Haggis,” longtime Haggis attorney Priya Chaudhry told THR. “He is totally innocent, and willing to fully cooperate with the authorities so the truth comes out quickly.” Reps for Haggis did not immediately return messages left Monday.

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