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Nw: Paul Haggis Loses Civil Rape Case, Ordered to Pay Accuser $7.5 Million

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Atomize filmmaker may per chance well face extra punitive damages to be obvious at a hearing subsequent week

Jon BlisteinNov 11, 2022
Paul Haggis arriving at court in October 2022. ANGELA WEISS/AFP/GETTY
Atomize filmmaker and Million Buck Itsy-bitsy one screenwriter Paul Haggis used to be ordered to pay publicist Haleigh Breest $7.5 million after a jury figured out him liable for raping her in 2013, The New York Cases reviews. The jury returned its verdict in the civil trial Thursday, Nov. 10, after about six hours of deliberation. As a consequence of it used to be a civil trial, Haggis used to be by no system going thru penal advanced time; nonetheless, on top of the $7.5 million in compensatory damages, he may per chance well furthermore face further punitive damages, which also can furthermore be obvious at a hearing on Monday. Breest introduced her swimsuit in 2017, accusing Haggis of raping her and forcing her to build oral intercourse on him at his residence following a movie premiere in 2013. Breest pointedly made up our minds to file the swimsuit following Haggis’ comments condemning disgraced Hollywood multi-millionaire and convicted intercourse offender Harvey Weinstein. The jury began its deliberations Thursday after closing arguments Wednesday, Nov. 9. In step with Closing date, Breest’s legal professional, Ilana Maazel, returned to several text messages Breest wrote to a chum the day after the alleged rape, which Maazel furthermore highlighted all the intention thru opening arguments. Maazel described one among the texts Breest despatched — “And I defend asserting no” — as “the 5 major phrases in this case.” Maazel (per Diversity) furthermore accused Haggis of the usage of his status and web page to “prey on, manipulate, and attack inclined young ladies folks in the movie alternate,” nodding to the testimony jurors heard from four other ladies folks who possess accused Haggis of sexual assault. Maazel wrapped his argument by urging the jury, “Account for him no, you can’t rape a lady and assemble away with it. Here’s a apprehension movie by Paul Haggis — and highest you may well presumably also reside it.”Within the interim, Haggis’ legal professional Priya Chaudhry, tried to solid doubt on Breest’s memories of that evening, whereas furthermore suggesting she cooked up the allegations to assemble a title for herself. “She’s a publicist. What she does is make publicity… She wants to be illustrious. She wants to be Monica Lewinsky,” Chaudhry acknowledged. “Doubtless she wants a book deal, she acknowledged she’s birth to it. Doubtless she wants a movie, she acknowledged she’s birth to it.”Arguably the strangest aspects of the trial titillating the Church of Scientology. Haggis used to be a Scientologist for a few years earlier than leaving in 2011, and he has criticized the church publicly since then, notably performing in the illustrious 2015 documentary, Going Certain: Scientology and the Prison of Perception. Haggis and his pretty team possess tried to argue that his split from the church used to be the catalyst for the swimsuit. They even known as upon other ragged Scientologists, akin to Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, to elevate the argument that the church would attain the kind of ingredient as section of a retribution campaign. While Breest has denied any ties to Scientology, the church has denied having any ties to the case. No topic attorneys for both facets at one level agreeing there used to be “no proof” supporting claims of a connection, Chaudhry aloof raised the specter in her closing arguments. “One can by no system repeat the fable of Paul Haggis without speaking about Scientology,” she acknowledged. “Scientology is completely hooked as much as him devour a glum shadow.”Maazel pushed aid on this in flip, declaring, “The Scientology protection is the final cynical buy of a desperate man. How slow does he mediate we are?”From Rolling Stone US.

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