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Who is Paul Haggis? What to know about the ‘Crash’ director

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Paul Haggis, the Oscar-winning filmmaker who directed “Crash,” has been dwelling below a cloud since a lady sued him in civil courtroom in 2017, alleging he raped her years in the past after they met at an trade occasion in New York Metropolis.

Then on Sunday, issues acquired worse for the writer-director. He was arrested and detained in southern Italy pending a listening to after one other woman accused him of sexually assaulting her over the course of two or three days in a mattress and breakfast within the space. By his legal professional in Italy, Haggis has maintained his innocence.

On Wednesday, an Italian courtroom ordered him to stay below home arrest in that nation whereas the case is investigated.

The 69-year-old Canadian began his prolific profession in Hollywood after shifting to Los Angeles within the Nineteen Seventies. For the primary couple of years he got here up with story strains on animated packages reminiscent of “Plastic Man” and “The Ri¢hie Ri¢h/Scooby-Doo Present.” He and his first spouse additionally acquired concerned with Scientology.

He moved to writing for live-action TV on collection together with “Diff’hire Strokes,” “The Information of Life,” “L.A. Regulation” and the unique “Walker, Texas Ranger.” He received shared Primetime Emmy Awards in 1988 for writing in a drama collection and drama collection for “thirtysomething.”

Then, in 2004, he wrote screenplays for “Million Greenback Child” and “Crash” and have become the primary author to see movies based mostly on his scripts win greatest image Oscars in back-to-back years. He produced and directed “Crash,” taking dwelling two Oscars of his personal in 2006.

Right here’s a have a look at Haggis’ life after his shift to motion-picture work started to repay.

First Oscar nomination (January 2005)

Haggis is nominated for an Academy Award within the tailored screenplay class for writing director Clint Eastwood’s “Million Greenback Child.” In March 2005, he loses to Alexander Payne and Jim Taylor, the writers of “Sideways,” however “Million Greenback Child” wins 4 Oscars, together with greatest image.

The Oscar wins (March 2006)

A man and a woman each hold award statues while a guy between them kisses the man on the cheek

After Paul Haggis, proper, and “Crash” co-producer Cathy Schulman received Oscars, presenter Jack Nicholson kisses Haggis on the cheek.

(Kevok Djansezian / Related Press)

“Crash,” which was co-written, produced and directed by Haggis, wins an Oscar for unique screenplay in addition to the coveted greatest image award. Haggis — who shares the screenplay Oscar with Bobby Moresco — can also be nominated for director, however he loses to Ang Lee (“Brokeback Mountain”).

The L.A. Occasions calls the best-picture victory “one of the biggest upsets in current Academy Award historical past,” as opinions on the standard of “Crash” are combined.

One other Academy Award nod (January 2007)

Haggis and author Iris Yamashita are nominated for the unique screenplay Oscar for his or her work on the Eastwood movie “Letters From Iwo Jima.” In March, the trophy goes to Michael Arndt for “Little Miss Sunshine.”

Scientology cut up goes public (October 2009)

Information breaks that Haggis resigned from Scientology in August in a relatively spectacular letter to the group’s then-spokesman, Tommy Davis. In it, Haggis, a Scientologist for greater than three many years, calls out the church for not condemning its San Diego department’s assist for California’s Prop. 8 against gay marriage. He additionally chastises Davis for publicly stating that Scientology has no coverage of disconnection between members and those that go away the church, regardless of Haggis’ then-wife having just lately gone via the method along with her personal mother and father after they left the church.

“[A]fter penning this letter, I’m totally conscious that a few of my associates could select to not affiliate with me, or in some circumstances work with me. I’ll all the time take their calls, as I all the time took yours,” Haggis writes.

“Nevertheless, I’ve lastly come to the conclusion that I can not be part of this group. Frankly, I needed to look no additional than your refusal to denounce the church’s anti-gay stance, and the indefensible actions, and inactions, of those that condone this conduct throughout the group. I’m solely ashamed that I waited this many months to behave.”

The divorce submitting (Could 2012)

Haggis and Deborah Rennard, husband and spouse since 1997, file for divorce in New York two years after amicably separating. The author-director has “develop into a daily fixture on the New York occasion circuit and has been noticed with youthful women on his arm,” Page Six reviews. Rennard is Haggis’ second spouse and the mom of Haggis’ son. Beforehand, from 1977 to 1994, he was married to Diane Christine Gettas, who’s the mom of his three daughters.

Haggis condemns Harvey Weinstein (October 2017)

In an article speaking about why he now prefers New York Metropolis to Los Angeles, Haggis cites the Weinstein scandal as considered one of many causes — together with unwillingness to take artistic dangers — that the trade in L.A. wants an overhaul. Whereas saying that Hollywood is “fairly sexist,” he says he doesn’t suppose sexual harassment and abuse are the city’s common modus operandi.

“Though everybody thinks it’s vile behaviour, you’ve got to concentrate on those that could have colluded and guarded [Weinstein],” Haggis tells the Guardian. “For me, they’re as responsible as he’s and in some circumstances extra so, if I can say that. I imply, he was a predator and a predator is a predator. However what about those that would relatively look the opposite manner?”

Haleigh Breest alleges rape; Haggis sues her first (Dec. 15, 2017)

Breest files a lawsuit alleging Haggis raped her at his SoHo house in New York in 2013, when she was a 26-year-old publicist. She says in her lawsuit that he supplied her a experience dwelling after assembly her at a premiere occasion for the Steven Soderbergh movie “Aspect Results,” then insisted that they cease at his place. There, she alleges, the filmmaker pressured her to carry out oral intercourse on him, “aggressively inserted” his finger into her vagina after which raped her.

However Haggis, in a lawsuit filed hours earlier than Breest’s grievance was submitted, alleges that she and her legal professional tried to extort $9 million in “hush cash” relating to what the director says is a false rape declare. Haggis claims he couldn’t have raped Breest because of his “critical again drawback.”

Haggis resigns as Haiti charity chairman (Jan. 4, 2018)

Seven men and women look on thoughtfully as another man points off into the distance

Susan Sarandon, left, Demi Moore, Gerard Butler, Paul Haggis and Ben Stiller go to a camp for refugees in Haiti managed by Sean Penn, far proper, in April 2010.

(Kevork Djansezian / Related Press)

Artists for Peace and Justice, a charity to assist Haitian youth that Haggis based in 2009, accepts his resignation as board chair. The information comes out practically per week later, and members Susan Sarandon and Ben Stiller are named as replacements.

Three extra ladies come ahead (Jan. 5, 2018)

Breest’s lawsuit is up to date to included particulars from three different ladies who have come forward anonymously, alleging additionally they confronted sexual misconduct by Haggis. One says Haggis tried to sexually assault her, saying, “I must be inside you” earlier than she was in a position to run away. A second says he held down her arms, forcibly kissed her on a road nook, then adopted her right into a taxi; she says she was later in a position to escape.

The third woman alleges rape. She says she was a 28-year-old publicist in 1996 when Haggis allegedly referred to as her to his workplace after hours to overview pictures. She says he introduced her to a again workplace, started kissing her instantly after which pressured himself on her. She alleges that he made her carry out oral intercourse on him, then pushed her to the ground and raped her.

Haggis, via his legal professional, denies all three allegations “in complete.”

Rennard defends her ex-husband (Jan. 11, 2018)

A smiling man has his arm around a smiling woman as they arrive at an awards show

Paul Haggis arrives on the 2006 Oscars along with his spouse Deborah Rennard.

(Kevork Djansezian / Related Press)

Haggis’ second spouse, a former actor and a co-producer on his movie “Within the Valley of Elah,” speaks out in protection of her ex-husband. (They finalized their cut up in 2016.)

“I do know Paul. And I do know past a shadow of a doubt and in my coronary heart that he would by no means have dedicated any violent acts towards ladies,” Rennard wrote in a letter revealed by Deadline. “I do know it as a result of I do know his character, and I do know these allegations go towards the core of who he’s.”

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder communicate out (Jan. 15, 2018)

Remini, who left Scientology in 2013, publishes an open letter defending Haggis towards the nameless accusers, written with ex-Scientologist Mike Rinder, her “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” docuseries co-host. The 2 suggest Scientology is behind the ladies’s allegations, writing that if a company has the “title of everybody one may need considered, flirted with or taken on a date, it takes little creativeness to conjure a string of accusers being contacted and out of the blue showing out of the woodwork.”

Defending Haggis as a “gentleman and humanitarian,” they write, “We count on the following ‘revelations’ about Paul Haggis on this marketing campaign to destroy him to be based mostly on info culled from his scientology information within the type of extra ‘nameless’ accusers, hiding behind a lawyer who won’t ever should disclose who’s paying their invoice.”

Accuser denies Scientology involvement (Jan. 17, 2018)

One of many three ladies making allegations towards Haggis says in the Hollywood Reporter that she “fumed” however remained silent after studying his interview condemning Weinstein, then got here ahead after the Breest lawsuit.

“I’ve no reference to Scientology or its practitioners. For these individuals — together with actress Leah Remini — who’ve said publicly that every one of Haggis’ accusers are a part of a Scientology conspiracy, disgrace on you,” she writes.

Choose dismisses lawsuit towards Breest (July 2018)

Noting that there is no such thing as a particular allegation that Breest threatened to go public along with her declare if she weren’t paid, a decide dismisses Haggis’ lawsuit towards Breest. Haggis legal professional Christine Lepera had argued that the lady’s demand had been greater than typical pre-litigation speak.

The decide says “it could function a chill on the power of individuals who consider one other has dedicated sexual misconduct in the event that they have been unable to pursue pre-litigation discussions and settlement calls for, even outrageous settlement calls for,” in response to the Hollywood Reporter.

Haggis abandons lawsuit towards Breest (March 2019)

Although he had filed an enchantment after a New York decide dismissed his grievance towards Breest the prior 12 months, Haggis now abandons his civil suit. Monetary issues could also be in charge.

Haggis’ private legal professional, Priya Chaudhry, says in a press release to the L.A. Occasions, “It’s clear a scorched earth marketing campaign is being waged towards Mr. Haggis with the intent to completely smash him. … To save lots of his remaining assets, Mr. Haggis is just not interesting his emotional misery declare — however he nonetheless totally disputes the accusations once more him.”

Haggis says he’s close to chapter (April 2021)

The author-director asks a New York decide to set a trial date in Breest’s 2017 go well with towards him “on the earliest sensible date,” saying he can’t discover a lot work and is sort of bankrupt after racking up $2 million in authorized charges. “The notoriety of this case imprisons Mr. Haggis, and he can solely be free to work once more when he wins at trial,” his legal professional, Seth Zuckerman, says within the movement, in response to Variety.

“I’ve had discussions with producers and financiers, however have been repeatedly advised that they can’t work with me till I clear my title …,” Haggis says in a declaration. “Potential employers and movie financiers have even expressed that after this lawsuit is over and my title is cleared, they are going to be keen to rent me once more.” Haggis’ request is denied.

Haggis arrested in Italy (June 19, 2022)

Haggis is arrested in Ostuni, Italy, within the province of Brindisi, on fees of sexual assault and aggravated private harm. The director was in southern Italy to offer a grasp class at a movie pageant, whose artwork administrators inform the L.A. Occasions in a press release June 19 that they axed Haggis from the pageant lineup and are providing their “full solidarity and assist to the lady concerned.” The author-director is ordered to stay at a farmhouse visitor residence pending a courtroom listening to, whereas authorities examine the allegations.

Haggis allegedly pressured the lady — who in response to Italian media is a 30-year-old English lady who knew Haggis earlier than going to the movie pageant — to have sexual activity with him over two days at a mattress and breakfast after which dropped her off at a close-by airport in a state of confusion.

“I’m assured that every one allegations shall be dismissed towards Mr. Haggis,” longtime Haggis legal professional Chaudhry says in a press release to Variety. “He’s completely harmless and keen to totally cooperate with the authorities so the reality comes out shortly.” Italian regulation prevents attorneys from discussing the proof within the case.

A decide’s determination (June 22, 2022)

A man in a suit and tie walks through a metal detector at a courthouse

Paul Haggis arrives on the courthouse in Brindisi, Italy, on Wednesday.

(Salvatore Laporta / Related Press)

Haggis goes earlier than a decide in Brindisi, Italy, because the case is investigated.

“Paul Haggis answered all questions and defined what occurred,” legal professional Michele Laforgia tells reporters outdoors the courthouse, through the Associated Press. “He declared himself, as he had already achieved proper after the detention, fully harmless, within the sense that the intercourse he had with this lady was completely consensual.”

Laforgia additionally says investigators “badly interpreted” a hospital emergency room report saying the lady had accidents.

A couple of hours later, the decide decides that whereas Haggis isn’t a flight danger, he should stay below home arrest in Italy relatively than returning dwelling to the U.S.