Italian court dismisses sexual abuse charges against Paul Haggis: Reports
Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis was arrested on charges of sexual abuse in southern Italy last month. Now, an Italian court has reportedly ruled that the case against Haggis be dismissed as there are no grounds to continue the investigation against the 69-year-old filmmaker. An attorney for Haggis, Priya Chaudhry, had previously issued a statement declaring Haggis "totally innocent." TW: Mention of sexual assault.
Haggis's Italian lawyer Michele Laforgia spoke to The Hollywood Reporter on Saturday and informed that three judges of an appellate court had "unanimously rejected the prosecutor's appeal to have Haggis's house arrest reinstated." Laforgia claimed Haggis presented "irrefutable and objective evidence" that proved the woman in question told "multiple lies to investigators and the court, with facts and witnesses completely contradicting her story."
Haggis's lawyer also stated that unless new evidence is presented, the prosecutors will be required to close their case. Earlier, prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlandoz alleged the woman was "forced to seek medical care" after the alleged assault. As per the prosecutor's allegations, Haggis accompanied said woman to the airport, where she was "left there at dawn despite precarious physical and psychological conditions."
Haggis won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for Crash and best screenplay nominations for Million Dollar Baby and Letters from Iwo Jima. Despite the dismissal of the current case in Italy, he has another lawsuit pinned to himself. American film publicist Haleigh Breest sued Haggis for allegedly raping her in January 2013, while Haggis claimed it was a "consensual" encounter.