Paul Haggis has been discovered liable on three counts of rape and sexual abuse.
The ‘Crash’ filmmaker has been ordered to pay $7.5 million in compensatory damages, in addition to extra punitive damages – of which the quantity will likely be decided on Monday (14.11.22) – after a jury got here to a unanimous verdict on Thursday (10.11.22) after nearly six hours of deliberations.
Haggis had been accused of rape in a civil case filed by Haleigh Breest in 2017 in relation to an incident in 2013, with the film publicist claiming the director made undesirable advances and compelled her to carry out oral intercourse on him earlier than he raped her after he invited her to his residence for a drink when she accepted a elevate dwelling from a movie screening afterparty.
The 69-year-old director – who insisted his accuser had initiated the kissing and oral intercourse between them however denied forcing himself on her – is “disenchanted” by the decision and has vowed to “clear [his] identify”.
Talking exterior the courthouse in Manhattan, he mentioned: “I’m clearly very disenchanted within the outcomes. And I’m going to proceed to, with my crew, struggle to clear my identify. We’re going to maintain our choices as to what we’re going to do.”
Haleigh thanked the jury for believing her account of what had occurred.
She mentioned in a press release: “I’m grateful that I had the chance to hunt justice and accountability in courtroom — and that the jury selected to observe the info — and believed me.
“The best supply of consolation by means of this five-year authorized journey has been the assist I felt from the ladies who bravely shared their very own tales and let me know I wasn’t alone.”
In the course of the civil trial, 4 nameless girls shared their very own accounts of allegedly being sexually assaulted by the screenwriter, and he later admitted on the witness stand he was “scared” and “humiliated” because of what he branded their “horrible false allegations”.
He mentioned: “I’m scared as a result of I don’t know why girls or anybody would lie about issues like this, make up or twist the reality. I don’t know.
“To see my daughters sitting within the courtroom proper now, my son and my household, I’m humiliated by these false allegations.”