Film director Paul Haggis was recently arrested in Ostuni, southern Italy. Several news outlets reported that Haggis forced a woman to perform s*xual intercourse while he was at Ostuni for the film event, Allora Fest.
Speaking to a news outlet, journalist Silvia Bizio confirmed that Haggis had been arrested. Meanwhile, Paul's attorney Priya Chaudhry stated that the allegations against her client will likely be dismissed and added that he is ready to cooperate with the authorities.
A police report revealed that Haggis took the unidentified victim to the Papola Casale airport and left her stranded without considering her physical and psychological condition.
Airport staff and border police helped the woman and took her to the office of the Italian Squadra Mobile Police Unit. She was then admitted to the A. Perrino hospital and Italy's pink protocol for r*pe victims was used for further investigation.
Paul Haggis' personal life
Paul Haggis was first married to Dianne Christine Gettas. They tied the knot on April 9, 1977, and had three daughters. The couple seemed to be in love, but they divorced in 1994. Some reports, meanwhile, stated that Dianne was a nurse.
The screenwriter then married actress Deborah Rennard in July 1997 and had a son. They were together for 20 years before splitting up in 2016.
Rennard is well-known for her appearances in series like Dallas and Days of Our Lives. She has also been a part of films like J.R. Returns, Land of Doom, Lionheart, and more.
Paul was previously accused of s*xual misconduct in January 2018 and a lawsuit was also filed against him. However, he denied the claims and was asked to provide his DNA sample in July 2019.
The 69-year-old's legal team has tried to block the testimony of the alleged victims. However, following the lawsuit, three more women accused Haggis of s*xual assault and misconduct.
Deborah Rennard defends Paul Haggis
Deborah Rennard came out in support of her ex-husband in 2018 stating that she has never known anyone more generous, caring, or selfless than Haggis. In a statement, she said,
"I don't know the women who are making these allegations against Paul; because they are anonymous. How is it even possible, in America in the year 2018, that someone can destroy another person's reputation and not even have to give their name?"
One of the alleged victims and publicist Haleigh Breest claimed that Paul r*ped her in 2013. However, Rennard dismissed the claims. She said that Haggis was resting after a back surgery at the time and added that he had to wear a surgical brace due to which he couldn't move much. Haggis filed a lawsuit against Breest, saying that she was blackmailing him.
Rennard also disclosed a few details related to the claims of a woman who said that Paul r*ped her in 1996 when she was an in-house publicist for his show. Rennard said that no in-house publicist was working at the time since she used to work late and, she and Paul always left together.
In brief, about Paul Haggis
Paul Haggis has written for various TV shows like Richie Rich, The Love Boat, One Day at a Time and The Facts of Life, among others. He has also created shows like Walker, Texas Ranger, Due South, and Family Law, and is the executive producer of shows like Michael Hayes.
Paul Haggis became popular as the writer of the 2004 sports drama film, Million Dollar Baby, with Clint Eastwood in the lead role. It was a box office success and received positive reviews from critics. The film also received seven nominations at the 77th Academy Awards.
Paul Haggis made his directorial debut with the 2004 crime drama film, Crash. The movie received decent feedback from the critics and audience and grossed $98.4 million at the box office.