A court in Italy on Monday ordered the release of filmmaker Paul Haggis, who had since March. According to US media, a US court lifted House arrest for Haggis while prosecutors decided whether or not to continue their investigation into charges of sexual assault against him.
Paul Haggis Released From House Arrest In Sexual Assault Case
For more than two weeks, Haggis was detained in a southern Italian hotel by police after an unidentified British woman told them that the director had twice had non-consensual sex with her while in Ostuni for an arts festival.
Even though Haggis had already flown to Italy to the Allora Fest film festival, where he planned to give many masterclasses, the anonymous complaint had already arrived to join him. Variety reports that the dinner was conducted without Haggis earlier this month because of the police complaint.
Claims of sexual assault have by film publicist Haleigh Breest, who has launched a lawsuit against Haggis in the United States. However, the proceedings were postponed because of the COVID-19 outbreak, which Breest initially reported in December 2017.
Police in Ostuni, a town near Brindisi in southern Italy, have detained Haggis, the Canadian director of Crash, since Sunday after an anonymous British lady said that he subjected her to non-consensual sex over three decades.
Haggis and his Italian attorney Michele Laforgia appeared before investigative magistrate Vilma Gilli in Brindisi on Wednesday morning for a three-hour preliminary hearing. She decided against putting the director in prison because she believed there was little risk of his fleeing.
Today after the court, Laforgia talked to the media and said that Haggis had maintained his “complete innocence” and that any connections with the woman were voluntary.
He said that the director had fully cooperated with Italian authorities and would not be fleeing the country until he had cleared his character.
A pre-trial hearing outside the courtroom will be held as part of the next step in the process.
Haggis Came To Ostuni, Italy, To Teach A Class At The Allora Film Festival
A woman he met in April at a film festival in Monte Carlo has offered to accompany him to Italy after hearing about his case and communicating with him regularly.
Italian police have detained the director of “Crash” since June 19 after an unknown British woman accused him of sexual assault. An appeals court recently ordered his parole pending the outcome of the prosecution’s probe.
The 69-year-old director was arrested on suspicion of sexual assault and aggravated bodily injury after the alleged victim said she forced him to engage in sexual relations over two days.
Did Not Expect That The Case Against Haggis Would Go To Trial
His lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, issued the following statement earlier in the day: “Under Italian law, I to provide the details. However, I am certain that Mr. Haggis will consist of all allegations. He is willing and able to cooperate with the authorities to get to the bottom of what happened.”
In Ostuni, from June 21 to 26, the author of “Million Dollar Baby” attended the Allora Fest film festival. As a result of the accusations, organizers decided to remove him from the program.