Advertisement

Paul Haggis must appear in NY court to face rape lawsuit

Paul Haggis poses during the 2nd International TV Series Festival at Babylon on June 9, 2018 in Berlin, Germany. Sebastian Reuter/Getty Images

Paul Haggis will face a rape lawsuit against him in New York.

Back in 2013, publicist Haleigh Breest accused the Oscar-winning director of raping her. After she filed a lawsuit, Haggis countersued but only Breest’s suit will proceed in court.

READ MORE: Paul Haggis accuser denies claims of Scientology conspiracy, blasts Leah Remini: ‘Shame on you’

On Thursday, a judge didn’t buy Haggis’ claims that the allegations are false.

According to The Hollywood Reporter,  Haggis’ lawyer Christine Lepera says there was no $9 million “hush” demand like Breest’s representatives claimed.

“I never agreed to have settlement discussions,” said Lepera. “It became clear it was extortion. When you threaten litigation on a false rape allegation in this climate, it’s outrageous. We all know rape is outrageous. This is equally outrageous.”

Story continues below advertisement

But New York Supreme Court Judge Robert Reed wasn’t convinced.

“Falsely accusing someone of sexual assault,” Lepera continued. “The mere accusation is typically accompanied by incredibly negative social stigma.”

At the end of the hearing, the judge dismissed Haggis’ lawsuit, noting there were no specific allegations of threats made by Breest.

READ MORE: Leah Remini and ‘Scientology’ co-host defend Paul Haggis amid sexual assault claims

Breest’s lawsuit has prompted three additional women to come forward with their own sexual misconduct accusations, including another publicist who says he forced her to perform oral sex, then raped her.

One of the other women speaking out told The Associated Press that Haggis tried to sexually assault her. “I need to be inside you,” she recalled him saying before she managed to run away.

Another of the new accusers said Haggis held down her arms, forcibly kissed her on a street corner, then followed her into a taxi. She said she later escaped his clutches.

WATCH BELOW: Leah Remini defends Paul Haggis

Click to play video: 'Leah Remini defends director Paul Haggis amid sexual assault allegations' Leah Remini defends director Paul Haggis amid sexual assault allegations
Leah Remini defends director Paul Haggis amid sexual assault allegations – Jan 15, 2018

When asked about the new accusations Lepera said, “He didn’t rape anybody.”

Story continues below advertisement

“Mr. Haggis denies these anonymous claims in whole,” said Lepera in an email to ET Canada. “In a society where one of a person’s fundamental rights is the ability to confront an accuser, that right has now been eviscerated when it comes to anyone being charged in the press with any sort of sexual misconduct.”

None of the sexual misconduct allegations have been proven in court.

With files from The Associated Press

Sponsored content