Top Screenwriter, Haggis Detained In Italy For Sexual Assault

Top Screenwriter, Haggis Detained In Italy For Sexual Assault
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Paul Haggis who is an Oscar-winning Canadian screenwriter and film director has been detained under house arrest in southern Italy on charges of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury to some individuals who had reported him to the authorities.

Haggis on his part has completely denied the accusation, his lawyers said on Monday.

“Mr Paul Haggis was detained on Sunday with an emergency measure issued by the Brindisi prosecutors and is now under house arrest in Ostuni.

“He will be questioned by Thursday by a judge who will have to decide whether or not to confirm the detention,” his Italian lawyer Michele Laforgia told Reuters.=

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Haggis was charged with forcing a young non-Italian woman to have sexual intercourse against her will the course of two days in Ostuni, Italy, public prosecutors in Brindisi said in a statement on Sunday.

“Under Italian Law, I cannot discuss the evidence. That said, I am confident that all allegations will be dismissed against Mr. Haggis,” Haggis’ personal attorney Priya Chaudhry said in a statement.

Both lawyers said Haggis was pleading innocent and would cooperate with authorities.

“A young foreign woman was forced to seek medical care” following the sexual relations, the prosecutors said in the statement.

They said that on Sunday after the non-consensual relations that man accompanied the woman to Brindisi airport, where she was left despite her “precarious physical and psychological conditions”.

An investigative source had told newsmen that the unidentified young woman will be questioned in the coming 10 days in what is known in Italy as an evidentiary incident, setting out evidence for a possible future trial.

Haggis, 69, wrote “Million Dollar Baby” and co-wrote and directed “Crash”, both of which he won an Oscar for.

In 2018 he denied accusations of sexual misconduct made by four women, including two who accused him of rape.

 

Africa Daily News, New York

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