Paul Haggis was arrested in Italy on charges of sexual assault

Oscar-winning Canadian screenwriter and director Paul Haggis was arrested in Ostuni, southern Italy on charges of sexual assault and grievous bodily harm which is alleged to have been inflicted on an as yet unidentified woman who has filed charges.

According to numerous reports in the Italian press and a note from the prosecutor of the nearby town of Brindisi, Haggis is accused of forcing a young “foreigner” – meaning non-Italian – woman to have sexual intercourse for two days in Ostuni, while he had to spend several master classes at Allora Fest, a new film event launched by Los Angeles-based Italian journalist Sylvia Bizio and Spanish art critic Sol Costales Dulton, to be held in Ostuni in June. From 21 to 26 June.

Bizio confirmed that Diversity that Haggis was arrested. She said the festival was “completely moving away” from him and would soon issue a statement to that effect.

Diversity turned to Haggis representatives for comment.

According to a report by Italian police, the alleged victim, after being attacked, was taken by Haggis to Papola Casale Airport in Brindisi and left there at dawn on Sunday morning, despite her “precarious physical and psychological condition”.

At the airport, the alleged rape victim was assisted by airport officials and border police, who, after providing first aid, escorted her to the offices of the Italian Mobile Police Unit. Police agents then took the woman to Perino Hospital in Brindisi, where Italy’s so-called “pink protocol” for rape victims came into force.

The alleged victim later filed a formal indictment against Haggis.

Haggis, who wrote “Baby for Millions of Dollars” and co-wrote and directed “Crash,” won an Oscar for both, was tried in 2018 by publicist Hailey Briest, who claims he raped her after the prime minister in 2013. The case prompted three additional women to come out with their own accusations of sexual misconduct against Haggis, who did it categorically rejected the allegations. The process is still waitingdue to COVID delay.

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