Multiple Oscar -winning filmmaker Paul Haggis has been arrested in southern Italy for alleged sexual assault, Italian news agencies reported, citing local prosecutors.
The director and screenwriter was “suspected of the crimes of aggravated sexual assault and aggravated personal injury, crimes committed to the detriment of a young foreigner,” according to the ANSA and AGI agencies, citing a note from Brindisi prosecutors.
Through his Italian lawyer, Michele Laforgia, Haggis denied the allegations.
“Make inquiries as soon as possible, I am totally innocent,” Laforgia said, according to the agencies.
Haggis, 69, who wrote and produced the Oscar-winning film “Crash,” was scheduled to headline the “Allora Fest” film festival in the city of Ostuni in Brindisi province.
The victim had been staying at Haggis ‘ home before the festival, according to prosecutors.
“The suspect allegedly forced the young woman, whom he had known for some time, to have sexual relations,” they wrote.
After one of the encounters, the woman was “forced to seek medical attention,” they wrote.