After he ended up in the eye of the storm on charges of molesting a woman in Puglia, where he was a guest at a festival, Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis was released. Haggis’ lawyer, Michele Laforgia, confirmed a Variety that the alleged victim’s lawyers appealed the decision taken by Judge Vilma Gilli, who after the preliminary hearing ruled that Haggis should be released after spending 16 days under house arrest in a hotel in the area. In the sentence, the judge noted “the absence of coercive violent behavior” on the part of Haggis towards the alleged victim who, according to the press, should be a 28-year-old British woman.
The judge also stressed that the woman’s decision to stay with Haggis in his quarters was “spontaneous”, while the director’s lawyer let a Variety that the next step will be an examination and discussion of the case before another judge in the city of Lecce which will take place in the coming weeks. Haggis, which he won two Oscars for Crash and is best known for writing that little gem of Million Dollar Baby, was arrested on 19 June in Ostuni on suspicion of sexual violence inflicted over the course of two days. According to the police report, the alleged victim was subsequently taken by Haggis to Papola Casale airport in Brindisi and left there at dawn despite her precarious physical and psychological condition.
In an interview with RepublicHaggis reiterated that he was innocent: “My first mistake was allowing someone I didn’t know to visit me. It was stupid “. “The second – added Paul Haggis – took place on the last morning, when something happened that I found particularly unpleasant and I decided to abruptly put an end to this situation”. When asked if there could be a connection with the Church of Scientology from which he bitterly separated in 2009, the director was cryptic: “I have no proof. But from what I have learned from Scientology, I know they are capable of anything. If you speak out against them, they will use any means to destroy your reputation, your career and your family. ‘
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Source: Vanity Fair