Paul Haggis’ lawyer argues that the Oscar-winning director is “completely innocent.” Southern region of Italy Sunday and he is under investigation for allegedly sexually assaulting a woman.
“Under Italian law, I can not discuss the evidence,” Haggis lawyer Priya Chaudhary told Fox News Digital. “I am convinced that all the allegations against Mr. Huggies will be dropped.
“He’s a complete mugger, and he’s willing to cooperate fully with the authorities so the truth comes out quickly.”
Haggis, 69, is in Italy for the Allora Film Festival, which opens Tuesday in Ostuni, a tourist town in the Puglia region that forms the “heel” of the Italian peninsula.
News agency Lapresse and several other Italian media groups have issued a written statement from prosecutors in the city of Brindisi saying they have been investigating a two-day relationship with a Canadian screenwriter who is investigating allegations that a “young foreign woman” – a non-Italian – was sexually abused.
Prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando, who are conducting the investigation, said in a statement that the woman “had to seek medical care” after the sexual encounters.
The Italian news media reported that the woman “arrived at Brindisi airport on Sunday” after a few days of “disagreement” and was “left there at dawn despite (her) uncertain physical and mental conditions”.
Prosecutors said airport staff and police noticed her “apparent confusion” and after first aid, she was taken to Brindisi’s police headquarters, where authorities took her to a local hospital for examination.
Authorities said they were not authorized to provide information about the case, including her nationality or age, or Haggis’ whereabouts.
Haggis won an Oscar in 2006 For the best original screenplay for “Crash”, it was inspired by his own real-life incident that was carjacked outside a video store in Los Angeles.
The Canadian director, who also wrote “Million Dollar Baby” and “Flags of Our Fathers”, cited incidents between 1996 and 2015 in which all four women were accused of rape and sexual misconduct.
Campaigner Haley Breast filed a civil lawsuit in December 2017 alleging that Hughes raped her on January 31, 2013 in an apartment in New York City. According to the AP, her lawsuit prompted three additional women to come forward in anonymity.
Haggis was a Scientologist for 35 years and left the church in 2009. Following the lawsuit, Leh Remini and her co-host Mike Rinder, co-hosted “Scientology and the Aftermath”, Issued a lengthy statement defending Haggis And claiming the women in question may have suspected motivations to come forward.
“In today’s climate there is plenty of reason to worry about justifying perpetrators of sexual harassment. But the fear of the consequences of our telling the truth has not pushed us back in the past and is about to start now,” they wrote. “We have supported victims of sexual harassment, they have contacted us and worked with us, and we are enforcing the law to ensure that justice is done for victims and perpetrators. We have avoided media interrogation.”
In their post, they defended Haggis’ role and suggested that the Church of Scientology was behind three additional suspects who “suddenly appeared in the woodwork”.
“We hope that the next ‘revelations’ about Paul Haggis in this campaign will be based on information gathered in the form of more ‘anonymous’ suspects from his scientology files to destroy him, hiding behind a lawyer who did not disclose who was paying. Their bill.”
Haggis denied the original rape allegation in a counter-complaint and said the defendant and her lawyer demanded $ 9 million in pay to avoid legal action, which he described as extortion.
“Based on his record as a gentleman and humanitarian, Paul Haggis deserves to be judged when all the evidence in court is taken under false pretenses,” Remini and Rinder wrote. “Because the claims of anonymous defendants who did not go to law enforcement are not credible.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.