Past rape claims were Scientology retaliation

The new allegations of rape against Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis are horrifying. His lawyer has declared his innocence, but it remains to be seen whether this new allegation will become part of the director’s narrative that he has been targeted in the past with false sexual assault allegations as he has accused the Church of Scientology. Had talked.

as reported by Daily Beast and other outlets, Haggis was in southern Italy for a film festival when a British woman accused police of being “raped for days” by the director in a hotel room and then left at an airport and Money was given to go home. The local prosecutor’s office said a hospital examination showed the woman “repeatedly suffered non-consensual sexual assault” including one so violent that she was “forced to seek medical attention.” “

Haggis, 69, was taken into custody, then released while under house arrest at his hotel, his Italian lawyer, Michele LaForgia, confirmed to the media. His first court date is Thursday, the Daily Beast said. LaForgia also said that Haggis is “completely innocent and we look forward to the maximum speed of all necessary investigations to clarify this matter.”

These new allegations come more than four years after four women accused Haggis of sexual assault, including rape, in separate encounters between 1996 and 2015. These allegations were made in late 2017 and early 2018 and came amid the growing #MeToo movement. The number of women speaking out about powerful men in Hollywood, politics, the media, and other industries.

The allegations also came in the years when Haggis became one of the most outspoken defectors and critics of the controversial Church of Scientology and its alleged abuse. He left the organization in 2009 after three decades of membership and after winning Oscars for directing the 2005 best-picture winner, “Crash,” and writing the 2004 best picture, “Million Dollar Baby.”

His defection became the subject of “apostasy”. A major New Yorker story in 2011 By the author Lawrence Wright. Haggis was also a major source for Wright’s 2013 book, “Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief” and the 2015 HBO documentary, also known as “Going Clear”.

Haggis’ first allegation is publicist Hailey Brest, who filed a lawsuit against the director in December 2017 of raping her in a New York apartment after a premiere, Daily Beast told those days. Brest said he filed his suit after an interview with Haggis to the GuardianProducers denounced Harvey Weinstein as “a predator” and called Hollywood “a sexist town”.

Later three more women came forward Tell the Associated Press About the encounters with Haggis that took place between 1996 and 2015, in which he tried to impose himself on them. Two said they fled; A woman says that he raped her.

The Daily Beast reported that before Brest filed his lawsuit, Haggis claimed that Brest tried to extort her for $9 million after a “friendly and sometimes flirtatious” relationship. At that time his lawyer said, “He did not rape anyone.”

In January 2018, Haggis received endorsement from actor and prominent Scientology critic Leah Remini, who hosted the Emmy Award-winning A&E series, “Scientology and the Aftermath.” He and his co-host, Mike Rinder, issued a long statement Defending Haggis, and suggesting that he was the target of vengeance, so to speak.

In an open letter posted on Rinder’s blog, he wrote, “Paul Haggis deserves justice by virtue of his record as a gentleman and humanitarian when all evidence has been taken to court under penalty of perjury. ” He added that Scientology expects members to reveal deeply personal information that the organization would use against “anyone who speaks their mind except Scientology.”

He also raised concerns about “people who accuse without law enforcement” or who “accuse the media anonymously.”

in a statement for newsweek At the time, the Church of Scientology denied Remini and Rinder’s claim that the Church had nothing to do with the allegations against Haggis.

“Leah Remini, Paul Haggis and Mike Rinder threw a scandalous smokescreen to replace the horrific sexual assault and rape allegations made by four women in a major attack about their former religion,” the statement read. Is.” The church also denied any connection to the accusers or their lawyers.

In the new case against Haggis, the woman spoke to police, “formalizing her complaint and citing circumstances, which were later looked at for confirmation by investigators.” The Hollywood Reporter said, As the Daily Beast reports, after dropping the woman off at Haggis’ airport, a flight attendant found her “covered” in a corner, which immediately alerted authorities. “She was destroyed,” the attendant told police, the Daily Beast reported, citing preliminary investigation documents.

Haggis was headlining the Ellora Fest in the southern Italian city of Ostuni, where he was also to teach a master class. The Daily Beast said the music and film festival immediately distanced itself from Haggis, canceling all the events he was scheduled to attend.

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