Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis was ordered Monday to pay a further $2.5 million in damages in a rape lawsuit, bringing the full to $10 million for a girl who stated he sexually assaulted her almost a decade in the past.
Whereas accuser Haleigh Breest’s legal professionals referred to as the decision simply, Haggis insisted that he had been falsely accused and was financially ruined by preventing the civil case. He vowed to attraction.
“I can’t dwell with lies like this. I’ll die clearing my identify,” he stated as he left the New York courtroom.
Breest, a publicist, stated Haggis raped her and compelled her to carry out oral intercourse in his New York condominium on Jan. 31, 2013. He says that they had a consensual encounter.
The jury sided with Breest final week, awarded her $7.5 million in compensatory damages for struggling and determined that she was additionally due punitive damages. Jurors returned to courtroom Monday to listen to testimony about Haggis’ funds and determine how way more he’d need to pay.
They obtained a fast course in film financing as Haggis was questioned about his earnings on such movies as Oscar finest image winners “Crash” and “Million Greenback Child,” and the James Bond flicks “On line casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.”
Whereas explaining the complexities of screenwriting compensation, he estimated that all through his 4 many years in TV and films, he’s made as a lot as $25 million — earlier than taxes, brokers’ and different representatives’ charges and asset splits along with his two ex-wives.
The 69-year-old filmmaker stated throughout Monday’s listening to that he’d suffered numerous monetary losses through the years _ together with the destruction of a poorly insured house within the 1994 Northridge earthquake — however that Breest’s lawsuit wiped him out. He stated his authorized payments topped $2.6 million, whereas his profession abruptly dried up.
“I’ve spent all the cash I’ve at my disposal. I’ve gutted my pension plan, I’ve lived on loans, to be able to pay for this case in a really naive perception in justice,” he stated exterior courtroom.
Breest’s legal professionals questioned Haggis’ claims of being broke.
“Nothing Paul Haggis says will be trusted,” legal professional Ilann Maazel stated.
After the decision, he stated the jury “did the correct factor.” Jurors left courtroom with out commenting.
Breest, 36, stated she suffered each skilled and psychological hurt from what occurred after she accepted an invite for a drink at his condominium following a film premiere.
She declined to remark Monday. In a press release after the preliminary verdict Thursday, she stated she appreciated “the chance to hunt justice and accountability in courtroom _ and that the jury selected to comply with the info _ and believed me.”
She sued for unspecified damages. Haggis wasn’t criminally charged within the matter.
The Related Press typically doesn’t determine individuals who say they’ve been sexually assaulted until they arrive ahead publicly, as Breest has finished.
Prime Photograph: Screenwriter and movie director Paul Haggis, heart, speaks to a reporter after leaving courtroom after being discovered responsible in a sexual assault civil lawsuit, Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in New York. (AP Photograph/John Minchillo)
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