Film director Paul Haggis was detained on Sunday for an investigation into allegations that he sexually assaulted a woman in southern Italy, Italian media reported, citing local prosecutors as a source.
Haggis, 69, is in Italy for a film festival that starts Tuesday in Ostuni, a resort town in the Puglia region, on the “heel” of the Italian boot.
The LaPresse news agency and other local media published a statement from prosecutors in the nearby town of Brindisi saying they are investigating allegations that “a young foreign woman” was forced to have “non-consensual” sex for two days. Prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando, who are leading the investigation, said in the press release that the woman “was forced to seek medical attention” after having sexual intercourse.
After a couple of days “of non-consensual relations, the woman was accompanied by the man” to Brindisi airport on Sunday “and left there at dawn despite her precarious physical and psychological condition.”
The Brindisi prosecutor’s office was closed on Sunday. Haggis’ attorney has not immediately responded to a request for comment. The prosecution said that police and airport staff saw “the evident state of confusion” in which the young woman was and “after giving her preliminary attention, they took her to the Brindisi police headquarters, where officers accompanied her to a local hospital. to be examined.”
Police at police headquarters said they were not authorized to discuss the matter.
Haggis, Canadian by birth, is a director, producer and screenwriter. He won an Oscar in 2006 for the movie “Crash.” The woman, the prosecution said, “formalized her complaint and cited circumstances that were examined by investigators.” The woman’s age and nationality have not been disclosed.
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