Italian news media quoted local prosecutors as saying that film director Paul Haggis was taken into custody on Sunday to investigate allegations of sexually assaulting a woman in southern Italy.
Canadian-born, Oscar-winner Haggis, 69, is in Italy for a film festival that begins 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 received a written statement from prosecutors in the nearby city of Brindisi that they were investigating allegations that a “young foreign woman” was forced to have “non-consensual” sex over two days. it was done.
Haggis’s lawyer, Priya Choudhury, said that although she could not discuss the evidence under Italian law, “I believe that all charges against Mr. Haggis will be dismissed. He is completely innocent, and with the authorities.” Ready to cooperate fully so that the truth comes out soon.
Prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando, who are investigating, said in a statement that the woman was “forced to seek medical care” after having sex. A few days later “after a non-consensual relationship, the woman was taken to Brindisi airport with the man” on Sunday and “released at dawn despite (her) precarious physical and psychological conditions.”
The Brindisi prosecutor’s office was closed on Sunday.
Prosecutors said airport staff and police saw her in an “apparently confused state” and “and, after giving initial treatment, took her to police headquarters in Brindisi, where officers accompanied her to a local hospital to examine her.” .
Police in the headquarters’ operations room said they were not authorized to provide details about the case, including whether Haggis was held at a police station or in a hotel or other residence.
Haggis is a director, producer and screenwriter. He won an Oscar in 2006 for Best Original Screenplay for “Crash”.
Prosecutors were also quoted as saying that the woman “formalized her complaint and cited the circumstances, which were later looked at for confirmation by investigators.” He did not mention his nationality or age.
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