cloudyn.png
Friday February 3rd, 2023 1:35AM

Jury tells filmmaker Haggis to pay $10M total in rape suit

By The Associated Press
Related Articles
  Contact Editor

NEW YORK (AP) — Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis was ordered Monday to pay an additional $2.5 million in damages in a rape lawsuit, bringing the total to $10 million for a woman who said he sexually assaulted her nearly a decade ago.

While accuser Haleigh Breest's lawyers called the verdict just, Haggis insisted that he had been falsely accused and was financially ruined by fighting the civil case. He vowed to appeal.

“I can't live with lies like this. I will die clearing my name,” he said as he left court.

Breest, a publicist, said Haggis raped her and forced her to perform oral sex in his New York apartment on Jan. 31, 2013. He says they had a consensual encounter.

The jury sided with Breest last week, awarded her $7.5 million in compensatory damages for suffering and decided that she was also due punitive damages. Jurors returned to court Monday to hear testimony about Haggis' finances and decide how much more he'd have to pay.

They got a quick course in movie financing as Haggis was questioned about his earnings on such films as Oscar best picture winners “Crash” and “Million Dollar Baby,” and the James Bond flicks “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.”

While explaining the complexities of screenwriting compensation, he estimated that throughout his four decades in TV and movies, he’s made as much as $25 million — before taxes, agents’ and other representatives’ fees and asset splits with his two ex-wives.

The 69-year-old filmmaker said during Monday's hearing that he’d suffered various financial losses over the years — including the destruction of a poorly insured home in the 1994 Northridge earthquake — but that Breest’s lawsuit wiped him out. He said his legal bills topped $2.6 million, while his career abruptly dried up.

“I've spent all the money I have at my disposal. I've gutted my pension plan, I've lived on loans, in order to pay for this case in a very naïve belief in justice,” he said outside court.

Breest’s lawyers questioned Haggis’ claims of being broke.

“Nothing Paul Haggis says can be trusted,” attorney Ilann Maazel said.

After the verdict, he said the jury “did the right thing.” Jurors left court without commenting.

Breest, 36, said she suffered both professional and psychological harm from what happened after she accepted an invitation for a drink at his apartment following a movie premiere.

She declined to comment Monday. In a statement after the initial verdict Thursday, she said she appreciated “the opportunity to seek justice and accountability in court — and that the jury chose to follow the facts — and believed me.”

She sued for unspecified damages. Haggis wasn’t criminally charged in the matter.

The Associated Press generally doesn’t identify people who say they have been sexually assaulted unless they come forward publicly, as Breest has done.

  • Associated Categories: U.S. News, Associated Press (AP), AP National News, Top U.S. News short headlines, AP Entertainment, AP Online Movies News, APOnline Celebrity News
© Copyright 2023 AccessWDUN.com
All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed without permission.
Suspect caught in fatal shooting of 3 U.Va. football players
Police have captured a University of Virginia student suspected of fatally shooting three members of the school’s football team as they returned to campus from a field trip
4:59PM ( 13 minutes ago )
High court rules against Arizona GOP leader in records fight
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to get phone records belonging to the leader of the Arizona Republican Party
4:56PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Former Kansas detective, 3 others accused of sex trafficking
A former Kansas police detective and three other men have been charged in a federal indictment with operating a sex trafficking operation involving teenage girls in the 1990s
4:55PM ( 16 minutes ago )
Associated Press (AP)
Jennifer Siebel Newsom takes stand at Harvey Weinstein trial
Jennifer Siebel Newsom, a documentary filmmaker and the wife of California governor Gavin Newsom, has taken the stand at the trial of Harvey Weinstein
4:17PM ( 54 minutes ago )
Jay Leno suffers burns in gasoline fire, says he's 'OK'
Jay Leno says he's doing OK after suffering serious burns in a gasoline fire
4:12PM ( 1 hour ago )
Book award finalists are 'debut novelists' in name only
Three of this year's fiction finalists for the National Book Awards are first-time novelists, at least officially
3:57PM ( 1 hour ago )
AP Entertainment
New this week: 'Spirited,' Pokémon, 'Nope' and 'Slumberland'
This week’s new entertainment releases include an album by Neil Young & Crazy Horse, a documentary about how Mickey Mouse became beloved by children and adults and a cash machine for Disney’s growing entertainment empire, and Chris Hemsworth puts himself and his body to the test in National Geographic’s “Limitless.”
10:01AM ( 7 hours ago )
‘Black Panther' sequel scores 2nd biggest debut of 2022
The box office roared back to life with the long-awaited release of “Black Panther: Wakanda Forever.”
12:21PM ( 1 day ago )
Alec Baldwin sues to 'clear his name' in movie set killing
Saying he wants to clear his name, Alec Baldwin is suing people involved in handling and supplying the loaded gun that he was using when it fired and killed a crew member last year during filming of the movie “Rust."
11:30PM ( 2 days ago )
AP Online Movies News
Selena Gomez honored for mental health advocacy work
Pop star and actor Selena Gomez is being honored for her work as an advocate for mental health awareness
9:03AM ( 8 hours ago )
Taylor Swift wins big in Germany at the MTV EMAs
Taylor Swift has won big at Sunday’s MTV EMAs
11:41PM ( 17 hours ago )
Twitter Blue signups unavailable after raft of fake accounts
Twitter’s relaunched premium service — which grants blue-check “verification” labels to anyone willing to pay $8 a month — is unavailable after the social media platform was flooded by a wave of imposter accounts approved by Twitter
3:44PM ( 3 days ago )
APOnline Celebrity News
Suspect caught in fatal shooting of 3 U.Va. football players
Police have captured a University of Virginia student suspected of fatally shooting three members of the school’s football team as they returned to campus from a field trip
4:59PM ( 13 minutes ago )
High court rules against Arizona GOP leader in records fight
The Supreme Court has cleared the way for the House committee investigating the Jan. 6, 2021, insurrection at the U.S. Capitol to get phone records belonging to the leader of the Arizona Republican Party
4:56PM ( 15 minutes ago )
Former Kansas detective, 3 others accused of sex trafficking
A former Kansas police detective and three other men have been charged in a federal indictment with operating a sex trafficking operation involving teenage girls in the 1990s
4:55PM ( 16 minutes ago )
EU warns Serbia, Kosovo against returning to the past
The European Union is warning Serbia and Kosovo that they must resolve their dispute over vehicle license plates before next week or face the prospect of a return to their violent past
4:54PM ( 17 minutes ago )
Israel confirms US probe into Shireen Abu Akleh's killing
Israel has confirmed that the United States government has started an investigation into the fatal shooting of Al Jazeera journalist Shireen Abu Akleh
4:43PM ( 28 minutes ago )