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Paul Haggis says he made mistakes in Italian sex-abuse case

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Director Paul Haggis is talking out amid his ongoing sexual-abuse case in Italy as prosecutors there try to place him again beneath home arrest.

Noting an “absence of constricting violent habits,” a decide within the Italian metropolis of Brindisi final week released the “Crash” director from a 16-day detention at his lodge, the place Haggis had been for a movie pageant. The 2-time Oscar winner lately gave a sprawling interview to the Italian publication La Repubblica, asserting his innocence and discussing the skilled fallout from the allegations made towards him within the U.S. and overseas.

“Being accused of sexual violence, one thing that I didn’t do, was devastating and one thing I hope no harmless individual will ever expertise,” Haggis stated in a translated interview, which the Italian outlet printed Tuesday.

The 69-year-old additionally admitted to creating errors from which the allegations stem. In line with Italian media, a 30-year-old Englishwoman who knew Haggis earlier than going to the movie pageant alleged that he pressured her to have intercourse with him over two days at a bed-and-breakfast in Puglia after which dropped her off at a close-by airport whereas she was in a state of confusion.

“As I instructed the decide, my first mistake was permitting somebody who I hardly knew to return and go to me. It was silly,” Haggis stated. “The second mistake was on the final morning after an incident occurred that I personally discovered significantly disagreeable, I made a decision to finish this example; I took this individual to the airport hours earlier than her flight. I’m upset with myself for these errors in judgment however can not comprehend that they resulted in false and damaging accusations towards me.”

Haggis asserted that he has by no means been charged with against the law and no lady has made a felony criticism towards him. He additionally stated that he’s waited 5 years to clear his identify within the U.S. following a civil lawsuit involving a rape allegation however lamented that that case is taken into account precedent towards him in Italy though it has not but been heard in U.S. court docket.

“I’m nonetheless the one individual to ask any prosecutor to analyze,” he stated. “As for my work, after 5 years, I lately obtained two jobs as a screenwriter. After I was arrested in Italy, I misplaced each.”

When the reporter likened Haggis’ private {and professional} woes to a “unhealthy script,” Haggis replied: “In fiction, you solely know the guts of a personality once you put them beneath horrible strain. I consider that is simply as true in life. I’ve at all times tried to hold myself with dignity and never communicate out or defend myself. I’ll depend on the courts for the reality and for justice to be served”.

Variety reported Tuesday that the prosecution and legal professionals for the alleged sufferer filed a enchantment towards the judge’s decision to release Haggis from detention — a choice that got here final week throughout a pretrial listening to through which Haggis got here head to head together with his accuser.

Requested if he thinks there is likely to be a connection between his high-profile 2009 departure from the Church of Scientology and “what occurred” to him since, the director didn’t completely rule it out.

“I don’t but have proof on this occasion, however from what I’ve discovered in coping with Scientology, they’re able to completely something. Should you communicate out towards them, they may use any means to destroy your status, profession and household,” Haggis alleged.

“They check with this ruthless tactic as ‘Truthful Sport.’ You’ll be able to ask individuals who know greater than me, like [former Scientology spokesman] Mike Rinder, who for a few years supervised Scientology’s ‘black ops,’ as they name it, or one of many devoted and courageous journalists like Bryan Seymour who’ve spent their careers investigating this harmful cult,” he added.

Haggis has been an outspoken critic of the church. He participated within the bombshell 2015 documentary “Going Clear: Scientology and the Jail of Perception” and the 2016 docuseries “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” and criticized the group within the New Yorker.

Representatives for the Church of Scientology didn’t instantly reply Tuesday to The Occasions’ request for remark.

Haggis is set to stand trial in New York in October in a separate case associated to 2017 allegations made by movie publicist Haleigh Breest, who alleged that Haggis raped her at his New York house in 2013. Haggis denied the declare and sued Breest, accusing her and her lawyer of attempting to extort $9 million in “hush cash.”