Washington [US], June 28 (ANI): Director Paul Haggis, who is now under house arrest in Italy on sexual assault charges, has been given a hearing date in New York for his rape lawsuit.
The trial is set to begin on October 11, before Judge Sabrina Kraus in Manhattan. A film publicist, Haleigh Breest, sued Haggis in December 2017, alleging that he raped her at his apartment in January 2013 after a premiere. Haggis has claimed that the encounter was consensual and that the lawsuit is nothing more than an extortion attempt, as per Variety.
Haggis, best known for writing and directing the Oscar-winning film 'Crash,' and scripting the screenplay for 'Million Dollar Baby,' is also a prominent former member of the Church of Scientology, appearing in both 'Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief' and 'Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.'
According to Variety, Haggis was arrested in Italy on June 19, after a woman told police that he had twice forced her to have non-consensual sex. His attorneys have denied those allegations as well. After a hearing last week, a judge ordered him to remain on house arrest pending further proceedings. His attorney, Michele Laforgia, said Haggis int trends to "remain in Italy until his total innocence is definitively proven."
The New York lawsuit has been kept on hold for more than a year, in part owing to delays resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic. Although Haggis has tried to expedite the process, citing reasons of facing mounting court costs and not being able to work until he clears his name, a judge denied his request to expedite the process in September, last year. (ANI)