Paul Haggis Attends First Hearing Over Sexual Assault Allegations In Italy; Lawyer Issues Statement

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.

Local prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando announced that Haggis was being investigated in relation to allegations of “serious sexual violence and personal injuries”.

Laforgia contested this version of events today.

“During these three days spent together in Ostuni, his relationship with this woman was completely consensual. We have clarified … contrary to what is believed in the allegations, that there are no injuries and no signs of violence,” he told reporters on his way out of the court.

“I believe he misinterpreted the report from the emergency department, where the girl was visited after the complaint. We are now waiting for the judge’s decision on the arrest and the prosecution’s request.” Will have to recite, which is to maintain house arrest pending immediate investigation,” LaForgia continued.

He said Haggis was cooperating fully with the authorities and expressed his desire to remain in Italy until his complete innocence was definitively established.

“Naturally, his life depends on it both in Italy as well as in the United States, where he lives,” LaForgia said.

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.