Director Paul Haggis arrested in Italy for alleged sexual assault

Paul Haggis faces new allegations of sexual assault.

On June 19, it became the Oscar-winning Crash director was detained in the southern Italian city of Ostuni accused of sexual assault and serious personal injury, according to several businesses, including Variety and Italian newspaper Ran from the Sera.

“Under Italian law, I can not discuss the evidence,” Haggis’ longtime personal lawyer Priya Chaudhry said in a statement to Variety. “Having said that, I am convinced that all allegations against Mr Haggis will be rejected. He is completely innocent and willing to fully cooperate with the authorities so that the truth comes out quickly.”

Corriere della Sera reported that public prosecutor in Brindisi province gave a statement that Haggis, 69, allegedly forced a young “foreign” woman to have sex during two days in Ostuni, then escorted her to an airport, leaving her there at dawn. Airport staff and police provided first aid to the alleged victim and transported her to a hospital where Italy’s “pink protocol” for rape victims was carried out, according to the statement. She subsequently filed formal charges against Haggis.

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