Three additional women have come forward to accuse Hollywood filmmaker Paul Haggis of sexual misconduct — weeks after the director was accused of raping a publicist in 2013.
Among the new accusers is another woman who claims Haggis raped her early on in her career while she was employed as a publicist on a TV show he was producing in 1996, according to the explosive new report by The Associated Press.
That accuser, whose identity was kept anonymous in the report, claims Haggis asked her to come into his office for work-related reasons, but started kissing her once she arrived.
“I just pulled away. He was just glaring at me and came at me again. I was really resisting. He said to me, ‘Do you really want to continue working?”‘ she told the AP. “And then he really forced himself on me. I was just numb. I didn’t know what to do.”
She asserts Haggis then forced her to give him oral sex before he raped her.
The other two accusers claim Haggis made unwanted sexual advances before they managed to get away from him.
Paul Haggis is now accused of sexual misconduct by four women.
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One of them says Haggis kissed her without her consent while holding her arms down, then followed her into a cab and attempted to go inside her apartment after they were dropped off. The woman, who was in her late 20s, says Haggis continued to text her until she blocked his number a day later.
The other woman, who was in her 30s, claims Haggis attempted to kiss her after inviting her to his office for a work-focused discussion, and followed her out of the building as she fled.
“I felt like my life could have been over,” she told the AP of the alleged incident, which she claims occurred in the late 2000s.
An attorney for Haggis denied the new allegations in a statement to the Daily News.
“Mr. Haggis denies these anonymous claims in whole,” the statement from Christine Lepera said. “In a society where one of a person’s fundamental rights is the ability to confront an accuser, that right has now been eviscerated when it comes to anyone being charged in the press with any sort of sexual misconduct. Notably, no one has reached out to anyone on Mr. Haggis’ team other than the press to report this.”
Haggis, who left the Church of Scientology in 2009, also “questions” whether Scientology has played a part in the allegations, according to the statement.
The new accusations come three weeks after Haleigh Breest, a publicist based in New York, filed a lawsuit claiming Haggis raped her in 2013.
Haggis also filed a lawsuit a few hours earlier that day claiming Breest threatened she’d go public with what he called false allegations if he didn’t provide her a $ 9 million payout.
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“The clear goal of (Breest’s) demand for such an absurd amount of money from (Haggis) is to scare him into giving this windfall to her to avoid his public hanging,” his lawsuit asserts.
The new accusers decided to share their accounts after learning of Breest’s allegations, according to the AP.
Haggis, 64, won the Oscar for Best Picture in 2005 for “Million Dollar Baby, which he co-wrote, and in 2006 for “Crash,” which he directed, produced and co-wrote.