Italian judge demands Paul Haggis sexual abuse case be thrown out – News Kidda

An Italian judge has called for the sexual abuse case against Paul Haggis to be dropped. Media reports say there are no grounds for further investigation into the Oscar-winning director.

The judge in the southern Italian city of Lecce called on Friday evening to dismiss the investigation against Haggis, the Italian news agency ANSA reported on Saturday. Earlier, an appeals court ruled in favor of Haggis, rejecting an attempt by prosecutors to reinstate Haggis under house arrest while the investigation continued.

Haggis was arrested on June 19 in the southern Italian city of Ostuni, where he attended the inaugural Allora film festival. A 28-year-old British woman accused the 69-year-old filmmaker of forcing her to have sex with him for two days. Haggis spent 16 days under house arrest at his hotel before being released.

In a statement issued to Italian media on Saturday, Haggis’ Italian lawyer Michele Laforgia noted that the three judges of the appeals court “unanimously rejected the prosecution’s appeal to reinstate Haggis’ house arrest.” Laforgia said he presented “irrefutable and objective evidence” that the woman accused Haggis “telled multiple lies to investigators and the court, with facts and witnesses completely contradicting her story.”

The alleged victim’s legal team did not immediately comment on the judge’s decision.

Laforgia said prosecutors should close the case against Haggis unless new evidence is presented to the court, something he expected to happen in the coming weeks.

Haggis, who won an Oscar for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for Crash and screenplay nominations for Million Dollars Baby and Letters from Iwo Jima, is also facing a separate lawsuit in US film publicist Haleigh Breest is suing Haggis for allegedly raping her in January 2013. A trial date for that case has been set for October 11 in New York. Haggis has said that his meeting with Breest was by mutual consent.

Leave a Comment