'Crash' director detained in Italy in sex assault case

  • Paul Haggis

    Paul Haggis

 
Associated Press
Updated 6/19/2022 11:31 PM

ROME -- Film director Paul Haggis was detained on Sunday for investigation of allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in southern Italy, Italian news media said, quoting local prosecutors.

The Canadian-born, Oscar-winning Haggis, 69, has been in Italy for a film festival that begins on Tuesday in Ostuni, a tourist town in Puglia, the region that forms the "heel" of the Italian peninsula.

 

The news agency LaPresse and several other Italian media carried a written statement from prosecutors in the nearby city of Brindisi that they were investigating allegations a "young foreign woman" was forced to have "non-consensual" sexual relations over two days.

Prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando, who are conducting the investigation, said in the statement that the woman was "forced to seek medical care" following the sexual relations.

After a couple of days "of non-consensual relations, the woman was accompanied by the man" to Brindisi airport on Sunday and "was left there at dawn despite (her) precarious physical and psychological conditions."

The Brindisi prosecutors' office was closed on Sunday. Haggis's attorney didn't immediately respond to a request for comment.

The prosecutors said airport staff and police noticed her "obvious confused state" and " and after lending initial treatment, took her to Brindisi's police headquarters, where officers accompanied her to a local hospital for examination.

Haggis is a director, producer and screenwriter. He won an Oscar in 2006 for best original screenplay for "Crash," which also won best picture.

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