The civil rape trial towards Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis has begun in New York.
The lawsuit was once filed through Haleigh Breest, a publicist who stated the Million Greenback Child screenwriter lured her to his New york condominium and allegedly raped her after a 2013 film premiere.
All over opening statements on Wednesday (19 October), the plaintiff’s legal professional Zoe Salzman instructed the jurors that Haggis is “manipulative”.
“The proof on this case will display Mr Haggis used his storytelling talents and repute to prey on, manipulate and assault prone younger ladies within the movie trade,” she stated. “He lured Haleigh [to his apartment], manipulated her into being on my own and he attacked her.
“He didn’t forestall when she stated no. He didn’t forestall when she struggled and resisted.”
Haggis, then again, has approved that he and Breest did have sex however he says it was once consensual.
Moreover, the protection maintained that this rape fee got here in retaliation for Haggis’s resolution to go away and criticise the Church of Scientology.
Haggis reportedly left the Church of Scientology after 30 years in 2009 over its opposition to homosexual marriage.
He has since alleged that leaders of the arguable faith had been seeking to “in finding grime” on him ahead of the rape allegation fee was once introduced up.
“Scientology may be very a success at destroying its enemies with out leaving a unmarried fingerprint in the back of,” Haggis’s protection lawyer Priya Chaudhry stated in opening remarks.
She alleged her consumer was once centered through the church as a result of he “didn’t depart quietly.”
Breest’s lawyer disputed the Scientology declare through announcing: “Haleigh Breest has not anything to do with Scientology. Scientology has not anything to do with this example.”
After opening statements, the jurors heard from the plaintiff’s first witness, Nancy Manoogian, who alleged in a video deposition that Haggis sexually assaulted her in 1996 when she was once a movie and tv publicist in Canada.
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