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‘Crash’ Director Paul Haggis Accused of Sexual Misconduct, Including Two Rapes

Four women in total have come forward with allegations against Haggis.

Paul Haggis'Spielberg' premiere, 55th New York Film Festival, USA - 05 Oct 2017

Paul Haggis

Erik Pendzich/REX/Shutterstock

Paul Haggis has been accused of sexual misconduct by four women. Three of the women came forward to The Associated Press following a civil lawsuit that was filed by a publicist that accused the “Crash” director of rape. In the new accusations, one woman says Haggis forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her. Another says she managed to get away from Haggis before an assault took place, but she remembers Haggis telling her, “I need to be inside you.”

The rape victim who filed the initial lawsuit was, at the time, a 28-year-old publicist working on a television show that Haggis was producing in 1996. He invited her to review photos from the show with him one night in the office. “I thought it was odd, but I agreed,” she told the AP. “He was the ultimate boss. I didn’t feel inclined to say no.”

The woman ended up alone with Haggis in the office. She says he began to kiss her as soon as she walked into the room. Despite her attempt to pull away, Haggis allegedly forced himself on her. “I was just numb. I didn’t know what to do,” she said.

Read More: Meryl Streep Remembers Dustin Hoffman Slapping Her on ‘Kramer vs. Kramer’ Set: ‘It Was Overstepping’

She says Haggis forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her. The woman’s account was verified by one of her friends, who told the AP that in the weeks after the attack, the woman lost weight and appeared to be depressed.

The woman who filed the civil lawsuit against Haggis is Haleigh Breest, who says Haggis raped her at his Manhattan apartment in 2013. The director allegedly offered her a ride back to her home, but he ended up taking her to his home instead. Breest says she agreed to go inside and have a glass of wine because she felt it would insult him if she declined.

While inside, Haggis allegedly became “sexually aggressive.” The lawsuit claims the director forced Breest into the bedroom, where he tried to tear her tights off. She said she told him to stop but he did not listen, and Haggis then forced her to perform oral sex, fondled her, and raped her. Breest later told friends and a psychologist about the encounter.

All the women say Haggis first tried to kiss them, and when they tried to get him to stop, he allegedly got more aggressive.

Haggis’ lawyer has denied all accusations against the filmmaker. “He didn’t rape anybody,” Christine Lepera, attorney for Haggis, said.

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