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Jury orders Canadian filmmaker Paul Haggis to pay $10M total in rape lawsuit

Academy Award-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis was ordered on Monday to pay a further $2.5 million US in damages in a rape lawsuit, bringing the total to $10 million for a lady who mentioned he sexually assaulted her almost a decade in the past.

Jurors selected the extra, punitive damages after listening to testimony about Haggis’s funds.

The identical jury had already discovered that Haggis raped publicist Haleigh Breest and compelled her to carry out oral intercourse in his New York condominium on Jan. 31, 2013. The Canadian filmmaker mentioned that they had a consensual encounter.

Breest introduced a civil lawsuit. Haggis wasn’t criminally charged in the matter.

The jury sided with Breest final week, awarded her $7.5 million in compensatory damages for struggling and determined that she was additionally due punitive damages. Jurors returned to courtroom on Monday to work out the quantity.

They obtained a fast course in film financing as Haggis was questioned about his earnings on such movies as Oscar best-picture winners Crash and Million Dollar Baby, and the James Bond movies Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.

While explaining the complexities of screenwriting compensation, he estimated that all through his 4 many years in TV and films, he is made as a lot as $25 million US — earlier than taxes, brokers’ and different representatives’ charges and asset splits along with his two ex-wives.

The 69-year-old filmmaker mentioned in the course of the trial that he’d suffered varied monetary losses through the years — together with the destruction of a poorly insured house in the 1994 Northridge earthquake, in the San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles — however that Breest’s lawsuit wiped him out. He mentioned his authorized payments topped $2.6 million, whereas his profession abruptly dried up.

Except for some comparatively small gigs rewriting scripts, Haggis mentioned, “I’ll by no means work as a author till I clear my identify.”

Publicist Haleigh Breest leaves courtroom after Haggis was discovered responsible in her sexual assault civil lawsuit, in New York on Thursday. (John Minchillo/The Associated Press)

Breest’s legal professionals questioned Haggis’s claims of being broke.

“Nothing Paul Haggis says might be trusted,” lawyer Ilann Maazel mentioned.

After the decision, he mentioned the jury “did the proper factor.” Jurors left courtroom with out commenting.

Breest, 36, mentioned she suffered each skilled and psychological hurt from what occurred after she accepted an invite for a drink at his condominium following a film premiere.

She declined to touch upon Monday. In an announcement after the preliminary verdict on Thursday, she mentioned she appreciated “the chance to search justice and accountability in courtroom — and that the jury selected to observe the information — and believed me.”



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