canadian film director Paul Haggis maintained his innocence today [Wednesday] in the first court Presence in the southern Italian port city of Brindisi where he is answering questions related to allegations of sexual assault.
Haggis has been under house arrest at a hotel outside Brindisi since Sunday after an unidentified British woman alleged that he had several days of non-consensual sex.
“Paul Haggis explained how things happened. He declared himself completely innocent, as he did in his immediate arrest,” Michele LaForgia, the director’s Italian lawyer, told reporters after the hearing.
Italian media circulated images of the Oscar-winning filmmaker arriving at court, where he was greeted by a throng of journalists, photographers and videographers.
Wearing a dark tie and suit, a black backpack hung over his shoulder and he climbed the stairs. He didn’t stop talking to reporters, saying only a polite “Excuse me” as he made his way to security.
Haggis was in the south Italy To participate in the Ellora Film Festival, a new event in Ostuni village outside Brindisi, bankrolled by the COVID-19 Recovery Fund.
According to local media reports, Haggis first met his accuser at the Monte Carlo Television Festival and has been in regular contact with him since then, resulting in an invitation to Ostuni.
Reports said the woman was discovered on Sunday in an “apparently confused state” at the local airport, where she was helped and then taken to police headquarters in Brindisi, where officers accompanied her to a local hospital. Went to check.
Investigating Judge Wilma Gilly, who led Wednesday’s hearing, will hear arguments from both defense lawyers and prosecutors and then consider whether Haggis should be taken into further custody. A decision is expected later today.