Canadian-born director and screenwriter Paul Haggis, who was arrested on Sunday night in Italy on fees of sexual assault and grievous bodily hurt, declared his innocence earlier than a decide on Wednesday.
Haggis, 69, made a court docket look within the southern city of Ostuni, presenting his model of occasions by an lawyer after a British lady accused Haggis of sexually assaulting her over the course of a number of days final week.
“The [sexual] relations he had with this lady have been completely consensual throughout these three days spent collectively in Ostuni,” stated Haggis’s lawyer, Michele Laforgia. “Opposite to what’s assumed within the fees, there isn’t a signal of harm and no signal of violence. I consider the decide misinterpreted the report from the hospital emergency room the place the younger lady was examined after the grievance.”
A press release from prosecutors says authorities on the Brindisi airport discovered the alleged sufferer in a dazed and “precarious psychological and bodily state” early within the morning after Haggis dropped her off. Airport staff contacted the state police in Brindisi, with whom the girl filed her report of being raped by Haggis.
She was examined on the hospital below Italy’s “pink protocol” for sexual assault victims.
Haggis has been below home arrest close to Ostuni since Sunday night time, the place police inform CBC Information he’s with members of his household who have been already in Italy earlier than his arrest.
Haggis is now awaiting the decide to rule on his arrest and his request to stay below home arrest, slightly than in jail, till what is understood in Italy as “an evidentiary incident,” when the accused and the alleged sufferer seem earlier than a decide and could also be cross-examined.
A decide will then resolve whether or not to proceed with a trial or not.
Movie fest occasions with Haggis cancelled
Born in London, Ont., Haggis started working in episodic tv in Hollywood within the Eighties. He earned an Academy Award for simply the second movement image he directed, 2004’s Crash, and has screenwriting credit for the Clint Eastwood movies Million Greenback Child and Flags of Our Fathers, in addition to the James Bond motion pictures On line casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
The director was within the vacationer city within the heel-shaped southern Italian area of Puglia to attend the Allora movie pageant, the place he and his grownup youngsters have been scheduled to talk and lead grasp courses on filmmaking and screenwriting.
WATCH | Paul Haggis below home arrest in Italy (June 20):
Different well-known celebrities, together with Edward Norton, Alfre Woodard, Oliver Stone, Jeremy Irons, Jon Hamm, Matt Dillon and Marisa Tomei have been showing on the pageant.
The pageant was launched this 12 months by Los Angeles-based Italian journalist Silvia Bizio and Spanish artwork critic Sol Costales Doulton. Organizers after the arrest distanced themselves from Haggis, cancelling all of the occasions involving him and his youngsters, and issued an announcement expressing “full solidarity with the girl concerned within the matter.”
Haggis has been accused of sexual assault by 4 different ladies within the U.S., with one civil lawsuit nonetheless pending. If convicted of the fees in Italy, he might withstand 10 years in jail.
CBC despatched messages to Bizio and Doulton asking them in the event that they knew of the sexual assault accusations within the U.S. towards Haggis earlier than inviting him to the pageant. Neither responded.
Previous to the pageant, Haggis was employed to direct a promotional movie for the city of Mesagne in Puglia, which is a European Capital of Tradition for 2024.
Haggis is not the one once-celebrated Hollywood director or star with a number of accusations of sexual assault or harassment towards him to be invited to headline a pageant or work in Italy. Kevin Spacey has carried out, acted in movie and brought half in festivals in Italy regardless of a number of accusations of sexual harassment.