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Film director Paul Haggis arrested in Italy over sexual assault allegations

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Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. Photo: Evan Agostini

Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. Photo: Evan Agostini

Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Paul Haggis. Photo: Evan Agostini

A James Bond screenwriter and film director has been arrested in Italy on suspicion of sexually assaulting a British woman in the days leading up to a film festival.

Paul Haggis, a two-time Oscar-winner who directed the film Crash and wrote screenplays for Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, was detained in the hilltop town of Ostuni in the southern region of Puglia.

The 69-year-old Canadian director is accused of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury. He has denied the charges.

Mr Haggis was being held in a hotel room in southern Italy yesterday pending a court hearing.

Antonio Negro, a prosecutor in the nearby city of Brindisi, said the date of the hearing this week was to be decided.

Mr Haggis met the young woman in Ostuni earlier this month, it is understood. Italian media reported that she was British and aged about 30.

She was reportedly found in a distressed state early on Sunday at Brindisi airport, also in Puglia.

She told airport officials that she had been forced to have sex with Mr Haggis over the course of two days and that he had then dropped her off at the airport.

“We were meant to have worked together. Instead, he raped me in his hotel room. Then he left me here at the airport. Please help me,” the woman was quoted as saying by La Repubblica.

An Italian lawyer for the director said he emphatically denied the allegations and that Mr Haggis was innocent. (© Telegraph Media Group Ltd 2022)

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Telegraph Media Group Limited [2022]


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