Washington [US]: Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis will have to pay USD 7.5 million in reimbursement as he has been found guilty of sexually assaulting a former film publicist following a film foremost almost a decade ago.
According to Variety, Haggis misplaced his civil rape trial on Friday after a New York jury observed the filmmaker dependable on all three counts of rape and sexual abuse. The unanimous jury, including four guys and women, deliberated for nearly six hours, provided the plaintiff USD 7.5 million in reimbursement, and recommended punitive damages, which will be decided on Monday, shared the outlet.
The verdict brings to an end the three-week trial that centered on the accusations. She sued Haggis in 2017 since the director had forced her into having oral sex with him earlier than raping her at his Soho apartment.
Following the decision, as she exited, the plaintiff said she was “very thankful that I could seek justice and responsibility in court — and that the jury chose to comply with the information — and believed me.”
She was operating as a freelancer at the 2013 event, which Haggis attended as a visitor. Though he does not deny the come-across befell, Haggis maintains it was consensual.
The plaintiff testified that she had reluctantly agreed to have a drink at Haggis’ condominium after he denied her thought of going to a public bar. After that, she recalled Haggis kissing her in opposition to her will and taking her into a bedroom, wherein the alleged sexual attack happened.
However, in Haggis’ testimony, he alleged that she appeared to be very inquisitive about him and voluntarily did oral intercourse with him after mentioning she was “very good at this.”
He claimed that she became giving off “blended indicators” at his condo and said he had “no reminiscence” of accomplishing sexual intercourse with her that night.
Haggis’ legal professional Priya Chaudhry tried to combat her claims during the ultimate arguments by suggesting that she was after revenge and money. “This trial isn’t about justice for her. This is a blatant coin grasp,” she stated, stated Variety.
Further, the Church of Scientology was frequently cited because Haggis and his legal professionals alleged the rape accusation with the aid of the plaintiff become added towards the director as retaliation for the filmmaker’s decision to leave from — and outspokenly criticize — the controversial religion in 2009.
According to Variety, attorneys on both facets agreed that there may be “no evidence” to assist her affiliation with Scientology.
Meanwhile, last month, a former freelance television producer testified that Paul Haggis assaulted and tried to rape her at the 2015 Toronto International Film Festival.
According to Variety, the female claimed that Haggis, the Oscar-winning author and director of ‘Crash,’ sexually pursued her before she fled into her apartment building following the TIFF event.