Oscar Winning Hollywood Director Accused of Rape, Sexual Misconduct by 4 Women

Paul Haggis, An Oscar winning director who was a Scientologist for 34 years has been accused of rape by one previous employee and sexual misconduct by 3 other women.

As reported by CBS

After one woman filed a civil lawsuit accusing Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis of rape, three more women have come forward to accuse Haggis of sexual misconduct. One of the three new accusers also says Haggis forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her.

One of the other women speaking out told The Associated Press that Haggis, who is best known as the screenwriter for “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash,” tried to sexually assault her. “I need to be inside you,” she recalled him saying, before she managed to run away.

Another of the new accusers said Haggis, 64, held down her arms, forcibly kissed her on a street corner, then followed her into a taxi. She said she later escaped his clutches.

When asked about the new accusations, Christine Lepera, attorney for Haggis, said, “He didn’t rape anybody.”

Haggis has denied the original rape allegation in a counter-complaint to the lawsuit, and said the accuser and her lawyer had demanded a $9 million payment to avoid legal action, which he characterized as extortion.

The plaintiff in the lawsuit, filed Dec. 15 in Manhattan, is identified in court papers as Haleigh Breest. The other three women subsequently came forward to Breest’s New York attorneys. They spoke to the AP on the condition that they not be identified for fear of retribution. The AP generally does not identify people who say they were the victims of sexual assault.

On Friday afternoon, Breest’s attorneys filed an amended complaint that includes details of the allegations lodged by the three new accusers.

In separate interviews with the AP, the three new accusers provided detailed accounts of encounters they say occurred between 1996 and 2015. The women were early in their careers in the entertainment business when, they say, the Hollywood heavyweight lured them to private or semi-private places under the guise of discussing productions or a subject of a professional nature.

They all said Haggis first tried to kiss them. In two of the cases, they said, when they fought back, Haggis escalated his aggression.

The new rape accuser said she was a 28-year-old publicist working on a television show being produced by Haggis in 1996 when he called to ask to review photos from the show that night in her office.

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

When Haggis arrived, she said, everyone else had left the office for the night and he insisted they speak in a back office. She said Haggis began kissing her as soon as they walked into the room.

“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?'” the woman said. “And then he really forced himself on me. I was just numb. I didn’t know what to do.”

She said he made her perform oral sex, then pushed her to the floor and raped her.

When she returned to work the next day, she was so scared of Haggis that she asked a friend to come to work with her, she said.

Her account was corroborated by another friend, who said that in the weeks after the attack the woman lost weight and appeared to be depressed. When she asked what happened, the woman said Haggis had raped her a few weeks earlier, the friend said.

You can read more here.