Oscar winner Paul Haggis disputes rape allegations



Disputing allegations in a rape lawsuit, Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis testified Thursday that his accuser typically appeared “conflicted” throughout their preliminary kisses however then began taking initiative.

Taking the witness stand for a second day in a civil trial, Haggis portrayed the girl, Haleigh Breest, as a keen accomplice of their lone sexual communication.

Breest, 36, testified earlier within the civil trial that she repeatedly and clearly instructed Haggis, 69, that she wasn’t taken with intercourse with him. She stated the “Crash” and “Million Dollar Baby” screenwriter compelled her to carry out oral intercourse after which raped her as she implored him to cease.

In Haggis’ telling, Breest — a publicist who labored at film premieres — flirted with him at a January 2013 screening afterparty earlier than accompanying him to his Manhattan house for a drink. He agrees that she instructed him upfront that she would not spend the night time, however he stated it appeared a “playful” comment.

Once they arrived, he made a move inside minutes.

In hours of testimony, Haggis acknowledged that Breest was typically reluctant about what he stated have been 5 totally different episodes of kissing.

He stated he instructed her at one level: “If you wish to do one thing, do it. If you do not wish to do it, do not do it.”

“She appeared conflicted not directly,” Haggis stated.

But with every kiss, he stated, Breest appeared to achieve confidence and reassured him by initiating the kissing when he expressed the ambivalence he was began to really feel.

By the time they reached a visitor bed room, Breest appeared “assured” as they started kissing and ultimately poured onto a guestroom mattress, Haggis stated. He recalled that she “giggled” as their bodily exercise grew to become extra heated and so they shed some clothes.

He stated that ultimately, she moved him in place to obtain oral intercourse, saying: “I’m good at this.”

“The approach she stated it was form of lovely,” Haggis stated.

He stated he had “no data” and “no recollection” of vaginally penetrating her.

“I did not know if it occurred or not,” he stated.

He stated he fell asleep and ultimately went to his bed room whereas she was sleeping. When he found within the morning that she was gone, he was disillusioned she hadn’t left a word together with her cellphone quantity, he stated.

In Breest’s account, she did not reciprocate Haggis’ two makes an attempt to kiss her, as soon as whereas pinning her towards a fridge, however did not depart as a result of she did not wish to offend a frequent premiere visitor. She testified that he later pushed her on a mattress, pulled her garments off, aggressively demanded oral intercourse and — after she took a bathe — raped her.

Haggis emailed her the subsequent day about pictures from the prior night time’s premiere. He stated he hoped the reply would come with her quantity. It did not.

When they met at one other occasion 10 days later, she was smiling and pleasant, Haggis recalled, including that their encounter was “slightly awkward,” as typically occurs after an preliminary sexual expertise with somebody.

He stated he determined two days later that she was “too emotionally immature” and stopped responding to her emails.

Afterward, Haggis stated, Breest can be “noticeably absent” from her ordinary red-carpet put up every time he introduced a girlfriend to occasions the place she labored. But he stated she was pleasant and behaved usually when he did not have a girl on his arm throughout the 4 1/2 years between their sexual encounter and the submitting of her lawsuit.

He stated he by no means instructed anybody about his night time with Breest. When his lawyer requested him how typically he considered it, he responded: “Honest to God, by no means.”

Haggis was additionally requested why he opposed offering DNA in reference to the lawsuit.

He stated his solely concern was that it will fall into the arms of Scientologists as a result of he had a “rising suspicion” that that they had a task within the lawsuit. His protection has recommended the case is payback for Haggis’ public criticism of the Church of Scientology, which he left in 2009.

The church and Breest’s legal professionals have known as that argument a bogus conspiracy idea.

Haggis’ legal professionals have agreed that Breest has no ties to Scientology. No witnesses have testified that they’ve particular proof linking the church to her legal professionals or to 4 ladies aside from Breest who testified that Haggis additionally sexually assaulted them.

Haggis denied the opposite ladies’s allegations in emotional testimony, including that he felt “humiliated” whereas testifying in regards to the accusations as his grownup daughters watched from the courtroom viewers. At one level, he requested for a short break, heading out of courtroom with one daughter’s arm round him.

“I’m scared,” he later instructed the jury, “as a result of I do not know why ladies, why anybody, would lie about issues like this.”

Cross examination that started Thursday was to proceed Friday. One early rating for Breest’s legal professionals got here when Haggis was confronted with the truth that DNA helped present that seminal fluid discovered on the inside crotch space of the tights that Breest stored from the night time with Haggis belonged to him.

Haggis testified that he had no recollection of ejaculating that night time.

The Associated Press usually doesn’t title individuals who say they’ve been sexually assaulted until they arrive ahead publicly, as Breest has executed.


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