An Oscar-Winning Director Has Been Arrested For Sexual Assault

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By Douglas Helm
| 7 seconds ago

Oscar-winning director and screenwriter Paul Haggis has been detained in Italy for allegations of sexual assault against a young woman. The news comes from the Associated Press, quoting the Italian news media that have reported on the case. There is currently no information on where Haggis is being detained or for how long he’ll be in custody as Italian authorities investigate the incident further.

Paul Haggis was in Italy for a film festival. The alleged incident, according to the prosecutor’s reports, details that a young woman in the town of Brindisi was forced to have non-consensual sexual relations over the course of two days. The young woman was also “forced to seek medical care” following the incident, and she was left at the airport by a man despite her “precarious physical and psychological conditions.” The complaint was formalized by the woman today. Currently, there are no statements from Paul Haggis or his attorney.

Paul Haggis is best known for his work on the films Crash, Million Dollar Baby, and Letters from Iwo Jima. He is also known for his work on the screenplay for the Bond film Casino Royale. Haggis was nominated for the Best Adapted Screenplay Oscar in 2005 for Million Dollar Baby, which was directed by Clint Eastwood. Haggis would go on to win two Oscars the following year for Crash, walking away with the Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay Oscars. Haggis also directed Crash which earned him a Best Director nom. Letters from Iwo Jima was also nominated for Best Original Screenplay in 2007.

Paul Haggis worked for many years in television before making the jump to features. One of his more prominent projects was Walker, Texas Ranger, which he co-created with Christopher Canaan and Leslie Greif. His most recent writing project was a reboot of Walker, Texas Ranger titled Walker that stars Supernatural’s Jared Padalecki in the title role.

Paul Haggis currently has two projects in the works. The first is Ranger’s Apprentice which he directs and co-writes with Alissa Sullivan. The film is currently in the pre-production stages. Ranger’s Apprentice is based on the novel series by John Flanagan and tells the story of an orphan named Will who is taken as an apprentice by a Ranger named Halt. Haggis’s other project is The Juliet and is still in the early development stages. The Juliet tells the story of a playboy and an android combining and it’s based on a short story by Alfred Bester called Fondly Fahrenheit. Susanna White directs, and Haggis is set to co-write the screenplay with Ian Shorr.

At this point, it is unclear if the allegations against Paul Haggis will be affecting these upcoming projects. This will probably be determined as the case develops and if Haggis is cleared or convicted of the charges against him. Since Haggis was detained by the Italian authorities today, the story is still in very early development, with more news of the alleged incident likely to be released soon. Stay tuned and we’ll keep you updated as this story continues to develop.