Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis was ordered Monday to pay a further US$2.5 million in damages in a rape lawsuit, bringing the whole to $10 million for a girl who stated he sexually assaulted her practically a decade in the past.
Whereas accuser Haleigh Breest’s legal professionals known as the decision simply, Haggis insisted that he had been falsely accused and was financially ruined by preventing the civil case. He vowed to enchantment.
“I can’t reside with lies like this. I’ll die clearing my identify,” he stated as he left court docket.
Breest, a publicist, stated Haggis raped her and compelled her to carry out oral intercourse in his New York house on Jan. 31, 2013. He says that they had a consensual encounter.
The jury sided with Breest final week, awarded her $7.5 million in compensatory damages for struggling and determined that she was additionally due punitive damages. Jurors returned to court docket Monday to listen to testimony about Haggis’ funds and resolve how rather more he’d need to pay.
They received a fast course in film financing as Haggis was questioned about his earnings on such movies as Oscar greatest image winners Crash and Million Greenback Child, and the James Bond flicks On line casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
Whereas explaining the complexities of screenwriting compensation, he estimated that all through his 4 a long time in TV and films, he’s made as a lot as $25 million — earlier than taxes, brokers’ and different representatives’ charges and asset splits together with his two ex-wives.
The 69-year-old filmmaker stated throughout Monday’s listening to that he’d suffered varied monetary losses through the years — together with the destruction of a poorly insured residence within the 1994 Northridge earthquake — however that Breest’s lawsuit wiped him out. He stated his authorized payments topped $2.6 million, whereas his profession abruptly dried up.
“I’ve spent all the cash I’ve at my disposal. I’ve gutted my pension plan, I’ve lived on loans, with a view to pay for this case in a really naïve perception in justice,” he stated outdoors court docket.
Breest’s legal professionals questioned Haggis’ claims of being broke.
“Nothing Paul Haggis says may be trusted,” lawyer Ilann Maazel stated.
After the decision, he stated the jury “did the best factor.” Jurors left court docket with out commenting.
Breest, 36, stated she suffered each skilled and psychological hurt from what occurred after she accepted an invite for a drink at his house following a film premiere.
She declined to remark Monday. In an announcement after the preliminary verdict Thursday, she stated she appreciated “the chance to hunt justice and accountability in court docket — and that the jury selected to comply with the info — and believed me.”
She sued for unspecified damages. Haggis wasn’t criminally charged within the matter.
The Related Press typically doesn’t establish individuals who say they’ve been sexually assaulted except they arrive ahead publicly, as Breest has executed.
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