NEW YORK –
Jurors started deliberating Thursday in a civil trial involving Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis and a publicist who accused him of rape.
The jury heard three weeks of testimony. Haggis and accuser Haleigh Breest spent days on the witness stand giving their divergent accounts of what occurred between them on Jan. 31, 2013.
Both agree he invited her to his house for a drink after they crossed paths at a film premiere.
Breest, 36, says Haggis rapidly turned sexually aggressive and, although she informed him she wasn’t prepared, compelled her to carry out oral intercourse and raped her.
Haggis, 69, says that the encounter was consensual and that Breest initiated components of it.
Breest is in search of unspecified damages from the screenwriter-director. He was a longtime TV author earlier than he penned early-2000s finest image Oscar winners “Million Dollar Baby” and “Crash” and directed the latter.
The Associated Press usually doesn’t title individuals who allege they’ve been sexually assaulted except they arrive ahead publicly, as Breest has achieved.