“Crash” director Paul Haggis and his Italian lawyer appeared in court in Brindisi, southern Italy, on Wednesday to answer questions and try to prove his innocence in a preliminary hearing that investigated allegations of an unknown woman. and aggravated bodily harm.
Haggis, 69, made no comment as he entered the courtroom with lawyer Michele Laforgia in court in Brindisi, a port city in the Puglia region, in the “heel” of an Italian boot.
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They left the courthouse after several hours of questioning by Judge Wilma Gili. They are now awaiting a judge’s decision later today on whether to release Haggis pending further investigation. or, instead, imprison him or continue to be held under house arrest in a hotel in the nearby town of Ostuni.
Speaking to Variety, Laforgia said: “Haggis made a long, written statement and then answered all the questions by reconstructing day by day – and in some cases hour by hour – what happened during the three days he was with this woman in Ostuni. ” said the lawyer.
“His relationship with this woman is completely consensual,” Lafortzia said. He went on to say that “contrary to what is supposed to be in the categories [against Haggis] “There are no injuries and no signs of violence,” said a medical report issued by Brindisi Hospital, where the alleged victim was taken on Sunday.
The lawyer also pointed out that “Mr. Haggis has stated his intention to remain in Italy until his complete innocence is finally proven.”
Haggis was arrested in Ostuni on Sunday on charges of sexually assaulting and aggravating injuries to a woman allegedly British and much younger than him. After being repeatedly forced by Haggis to have sex without consent, the manager took her to the small Papola Casale airport in Brindisi and left her there early Friday morning, despite her “precarious physical and psychological condition”. in a police statement issued Sunday.
At the airport, the alleged rape victim, in a “confused state”, according to the announcement, was assisted by the airport staff and the border police who, after giving her first aid, escorted her to the offices of the mobile police of the Italian squadron. unit. The police officers then transported the woman to A. Perrino Hospital in Brindisi, where the so-called “pink protocol” of Italy for rape victims came into force.
The alleged victim then filed formal charges against Haggis.
Haggis, who wrote “Million Dollar Baby” and co-wrote and directed the Oscar-winning “Crash,” was sued in 2018 by journalist Haleigh Breest, who claimed he raped her violently after a 2013 premiere. The lawsuit prompted three additional women to file their own sexual harassment charges against Haggis, who categorically denied the allegations. The trial is still pending due to delays for COVID.
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