4 Women Accuse Crash Director Paul Haggis Of Rape, Sexual Assault

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Yet another Oscar winner accused of sexual misconduct.

On December 15, a publicist identified as Haleigh Breest filed a civil suit against Paul Haggis, who famously (or infamously) wrote and directed the 2006 Best Picture winner Crash.

Breest says Haggis was giving her a ride home after a 2013 movie premiere but brought her to his apartment instead, and invited her up for a drink. She says after she accepted out of politeness he became “sexually aggressive” and forced her into a bedroom where he made her perform oral sex and raped her.

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She says she woke up and immediately got herself tested for STDs before telling multiple friends and her psychologist.

Following news of the legal action, three more women have come forward to speak to Breest’s attorneys, giving anonymous interviews to the Associated Press, per The Hollywood Reporter, in which they detailed very similar stories of sexual assault between 1996 and 2015.

The first of the new accusers was a publicist working on a TV show Haggis was producing in 1996. She says he called her in late one night to help him review still photos from the show:

“I thought it was odd, but I agreed. He was the ultimate boss. I didn’t feel inclined to say no.”

The office was empty when she arrived. The woman, who was 28 at the time, says Haggis immediately began kissing her the moment she came in.

“I just pulled away. He was just glaring at me and came at me again. I was really resisting. He said to me, ‘Do you really want to continue working?’ And then he really forced himself on me. I was just numb. I didn’t know what to do.”

She says Haggis forced her to perform oral sex on him then pushed her onto the floor and raped her.

A friend from the time corroborated that the woman had shared the story with her two decades ago. The industry professional, who also wished to remain anonymous, said she asked what was wrong after noticing her friend’s depression and weight loss over the course of a few weeks.

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On why she didn’t go to the police, the accuser says:

“The power, the anger, the financial resources, you feel like you are not really a match for that.”

Another woman says Haggis attempted to sexually assault her, forcibly kissing her and telling her:

“I need to be inside you.”

Eventually she says she was able to run away, as was a fourth woman who says Haggis held down her arms and forcibly kissed her.

These stories are all too familiar for anyone who has been keeping up with the accusations against Harvey Weinstein.

Haggis has filed his own extortion lawsuit against Breest. His attorney, Christine Lepera, responded to the new allegations, saying:

“He didn’t rape anybody.”

Not the strongest defense we’ve heard, though maybe the most succinct.

What do YOU think of these new claims??

[Image via Christian Behring/Future Image/WENN.]

Jan 5, 2018 4:03pm PST

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