‘Crash’ Director Paul Haggis Ordered To Pay $7.5 Million To Alleged Rape Victim

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Leena Nasir Entertainment Reporter
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A jury ordered disgraced Canadian film maker Paul Haggis to pay at least $7.5 million to a woman who accused him of rape.

Thursday’s decision by the jury included the addition of punitive damages that will be awarded to plaintiff Haleigh Breest, according to The Guardian. Breest alleged that Haggis offered her a ride home after a party in 2013 while she was working as a publicist. She claimed that Haggis then forced her to perform oral sex and raped her despite her efforts to make him stop, The Guardian reported.

“I thought I was getting a ride home. I agreed to have a drink,” Breest told the court. “What happened never should have happened. And it had nothing to do with me and everything to do with him and his actions,” she told jurors, according to The Guardian.

69-year-old Haggis argued that Breest seemed “conflicted” but insists that she initiated kisses and oral sex in a consensual manner. He said he couldn’t recall whether or not they had intercourse, according to The Guardian.

Breest filed her lawsuit against Haggis in 2017, alleging that she suffered psychological and professional consequences after her unwanted interactions with the filmmaker.

Four other women also testified that Haggis had forced himself on them. One of the accusers alleged that Haggis raped her in a series of separate encounters dating as far back as 1996. (RELATED: Warren Beatty’s Accuser Shares Details Of Her Alleged Rape In Resurfaced Video)

“The behavior showed me that he was somebody who was never going to stop,” one of the women testified, according to The Guardian.

Haggis denied all the allegations against him, but after hearing extensive testimony, including information pertaining to Haggis’ involvement with the Church of Scientology, the jurors sided with Breest.

Haggis began his career as a writer on prominent television sitcoms “Diff’rent Strokes” and “Thirtysomething,” and moved on to directing movies such as “Crash” and “The Next Three Days,” according to The Guardian.

The Canadian-born Haggis also wrote the screenplays for the James Bond movies “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace,” and for the video game “Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3.”