Paul Haggis, the Canadian-born writer, director, and producer best known for the Oscar-winning Best Picture Crash, was arrested on Sunday in the southern Italian city of Ostuni. The New York Times reported that the 69-year-old was charged with “aggravated sexual violence and aggravated personal injuries” by local police. 

The police statement said that following two days of “nonconsensual intercourse” Haggis took his accuser, who is not Italian, to the Brindisi airport “at the first lights of dawn, despite the precarious physical and psychological conditions of the woman.”

Airport staff noticed a woman in a “confusional state” who was brought to the attention of authorities, who then took her to a local hospital. The Times wrote that “she was treated following a protocol used in Italy for victims of violence against women” and that “she subsequently reported the violence to the police.” Her accusations stated that the noted filmmaker “would have forced the young woman, that he had met some time before, to endure sexual intercourse.”

Haggis’s legal representative, Priya Chaudhry, said she was “confident that all allegations will be dismissed against Mr. Haggis” and that “he is totally innocent, and willing to fully cooperate with the authorities so the truth comes out quickly.”

Haggis was in the area prior to an attendance at the Allora International Festival of Cinema Art and Music celebrating its “first edition” year. Casino Royale, which Haggis co-wrote, is scheduled to show on Sunday, June 26. The festival’s website, however, currently lists only director Martin Campbell as appearing at the post-screening Q&A. Other notables attending the event include Oliver Stone, Pawel Pawlikowski, Jon Hamm, Jeremy Irons, Alfre Woodard, Sinead Cusack, Matt Dillon, Edward Norton, Joely Richardson, and Marisa Tomei

Paul Haggis’s son James Haggis, an assistant director, and daughter Alissa Haggis, a screenwriter, are still listed as giving master classes, as is actress Deborah Rennard, Paul Haggis’s wife from 1997 through 2016. 

In 2017, Haggis was accused by a film publicist of raping her in 2013. Haggis countersued the woman, claiming it was a shakedown. Three additional women came forward to make accusations against Haggis in 2018, and the initial accusor then had the charge of “gender-motivated hate crime” successfully added to the charges against him. As of late April 2021, as the slow gears of justice ground on, Haggis claimed he was “almost bankrupt” and hoped the civil trial would conclude soon, suggesting that only when he cleared his name would he be able to once again find work. 

Haggis got his start as a television writer, with credits on shows like The Love Boat, Diff’rent Strokes, The Facts of Life, Who’s the Boss?, and Thirtysomething. In 2004 he wrote the screenplay for Million Dollar Baby, for which Haggis was nominated for a Best Adapted Screenplay Academy Award. The Clint Eastwood-directed boxing drama won Best Picture, a Best Actress trophy for Hillary Swank and Best Supporting Actor for Morgan Freeman

In 2005, Crash, won Haggis two Oscars—one for Best Picture (he was a producer as well as writer-director) and Best Original Screenplay. Matt Dillon was nominated for Best Supporting Actor. 

In 2006, Haggis was nominated for Best Original Screenplay for Clint Eastwood’s Letters From Iwo Jima. Later successes include co-writing two James Bond movies, Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace. In 2015 he directed the HBO series Show Me A Hero, created by David Simon and William F. Zorzi, starring Oscar Isaac, Winona Ryder, and Jon Bernthal

In 2009, Haggis notably broke from the Church of Scientology, where he had been an active member for 35 years.


Source link

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published.