Paul Haggis, Oscar-winning screenwriter and film director, is currently being held in Italy on charges of sexual assault and aggravated bodily injury.
Haggis was arrested by Italian police on Sunday after he allegedly raped a woman in Ostuni in southern Italy over two days.
According to Livia Orlando and Antonio Negro, the woman was found at a local airport. She had allegedly been left by Haggis in morning despite her "precarious psychological and physical conditions." According to La Presse and other Italian media outlets, airport staff alerted police and she was taken to hospital.
Prosecutors are yet to disclose her age or nationality.
Haggis' lawyer denied the allegations. "Under Italian Law I can't discuss the evidence. However, I'm confident that Mr. Haggis will be cleared of all charges. "He is completely innocent and will fully cooperate with authorities so that the truth comes out fast," lawyer Priya Chaudhry stated to NPR via email.
Haggis was in Italy to give master classes at a upcoming film festival. It starts on Tuesday. The directors of Allora Fest released a statement saying that the news was shocking. They also expressed solidarity with the woman. They stated that they removed Haggis immediately from the event.
Canadian director, 69 years old, won Oscar Awards for his 2005 Best Picture win Million Dollar Baby and his directing of the winning picture Crash the year after.
Haggis is not the first person to be accused in a case of sexual assault. A publicist sued Haggis in 2018 for accusing him of sexual assault following a film premiere. Three other women accused Haggis sexual misconduct came forward during the civil trial. It was delayed by COVID. Haggis denied the allegations.