Oscar-winning screenwriter and director Paul Haggis detained in Italy on sexual assault charges



CNN

Oscar winning director Paul Haggis He was detained in Italy on suspicion of sexual assault and grievous bodily harm, according to a statement from the local prosecutor and his legal team.

The 69-year-old Canadian-born director and screenwriter, who won two Oscars for the 2004 crime drama “Crash,” was in the country for a film festival that opened Tuesday in the tourist town of the southern Italian region. Opening of Ostuni. Puglia.

Prosecutors in the nearby town of Brindisi said in a statement Sunday that they had issued a warrant for the detention of a “70-year-old” Canadian man identified as “PH” who was living in Ostuni at the time .

“The man is on serious suspicion of aggravated sexual violence and grievous bodily harm, which have harmed a young foreign woman,” they said.

Haggis’ U.S. attorney Priya Chowdhury told CNN in an email Monday that she “believes that all charges against Mr. Haggis will be dismissed,” while noting that Italian law prohibits her from discussing evidence.

She added: “He is completely innocent and is willing to cooperate fully with the authorities so that the truth can be revealed as soon as possible.”

Haggis’ lawyer in Italy, Michele Laforgia, said in a press statement on Sunday: “Paul Haggis is currently at his home in Ostuni, ordered by Brindisi prosecutors. ‘Detention.’ We are awaiting the preliminary investigating judge’s summons for a custodial hearing and to provide our version of the facts.”

He added: “Haggis immediately declared him completely innocent and he hopes that all necessary investigations will be carried out as quickly as possible to clarify the matter. Obviously, after we fully understand the conduct of the legal case behind the warning measures and the judicial authorities We cannot announce anything further or provide details of the allegations until we have heard from us.”

Haggis is a well-known director, producer and screenwriter. His film credits include “Crash,” which won him the 2006 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay, as well as “Million Dollar Baby,” the multiple Academy Award-winning film, and the James Bond film “Quantum of Solace.” script. comfort. ”

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