Mexico City.- Just one day after Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis was arrested in Italy for sexual assault, more details about the allegations and the victim are gradually being revealed.
The woman who accused him, and whose name has not been revealed, has a British passport and told investigators that an attack by Haggis was so violent that it left her unable to have sexual relations; she later dropped her off at an airport with money but no plane ticket, according to new details.
Haggis was arrested in Italy this weekend on charges of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury, according to local media reports.
A woman claims that the 70-year-old director and screenwriter raped her for several days in the city 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 canceled her presentations and distanced herself from the Canadian.
Haggis’ attorney strongly denied the allegations; the director of Crash and writer of Blows of Destiny had already been accused by four other women in the past. In 2009 he publicly left the Church of Scientology and claimed that they were behind the accusations.
The police of the Italian city of Brindisi assure that the injuries of the woman who denounced him in these days are consistent with his affirmations.
“I was raped for days,” the girl told police, according to arrest documents obtained by The Daily Beast. “We were supposed to work together, but instead he raped me from Sunday night to Wednesday.”
She told investigators that Haggis then took her to Brindisi airport, where he dropped her off before dawn without a ticket, but with money to buy one when the airlines opened. Police say a flight attendant discovered her huddled in a corner and told them: “She was devastated. She was slurred.”
The woman was examined at an airport clinic and taken to a hospital for treatment and psychological support, according to reports. Authorities said she suffered several nonconsensual assaults, including one “so brutal” that it rendered her incapable of having sexual relations and “forced her to seek medical attention.”
Italian authorities are currently analyzing camera footage from Haggis’s hotel and the airport, which reportedly could corroborate his 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 released to house arrest pending his appearance.
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 movie premiere (he is filing a civil lawsuit). The screenwriter has always denied these crimes.
“I am confident that all charges against Mr. Haggis will be dismissed,” Priya Chaudhry, Haggis’s longtime attorney, told The Hollywood Reporter. “He is completely innocent and is willing to cooperate fully with the authorities so that the truth comes to light quickly.”