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Thursday, June 30, 2022

‘Crash’ director Paul Haggis arrested in Italy for sexual assault

Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning director behind the 2004 crime-drama crash Arrested in Italy for sexual assault. According to a statement from both Italian media and public prosecutors in southern Italy, Haggis was detained in Ostuni on charges of sexual assault and serious personal injury.

An unnamed woman has accused the director of forcibly having sex for two days. She was reportedly dropped off at Papola Casale airport on Sunday, where airport security worked with officials and was taken to a local hospital. The woman was reportedly experiencing “precarious physical and psychological conditions”. At the hospital, the woman filed a formal charge against the director.

ET has reached out to Haggis’ representatives for comment on the allegations and his arrest.

Haggis was in Ostuni preparing to teach a master class at the Ellora Film Festival, which runs from June 21-26.

In a statement to Variety, Ellora Fest said they have “learned with despair and shocked the news that Paul Haggis is in custody for alleged violence.” The festival’s directors “proceed to immediately remove any involvement of the director from the event” and “at the same time, they express complete solidarity with the woman involved,” they continued. “The themes chosen for the festival are of equality, gender equality and solidarity, among others. As professionals and women they are disappointed and hope that this festival will help in promoting more information and awareness on such topical and fast growing issue.

In addition to writing and directing “Crash”, Haggis wrote the screenplay for “Million Dollar Baby”.

This is not Haggis’ first sexual assault allegation. In 2018, campaigner Haley Brest filed a civil suit accusing Haggis of raping her in 2013. After the trial came to light, three more women came forward to accuse Haggis of sexual misconduct. Haggis denied the allegations. Due to the delay related to COVID, the trial was postponed and is still pending.

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Reference from www.etonline.com

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