'Crash' director Paul Haggis ordered to pay rape accuser Haleigh Breest $10 million

‘Crash’ director Paul Haggis ordered to pay rape accuser Haleigh Breest $10 million

It’s a 10 million dollar baby now.

‘Crash’ director Paul Haggis complained he was broke on Monday – before a jury ruled he should pay his rape accuser an additional $2.5 million.

The verdict, which brings the total the ‘Million Dollar Baby’ screenwriter is due to pay Haleigh Breest to $10 million, came after Haggis testified he could not afford to pay accuser Breest the $7.5 million jurors awarded him Thursday for pain and suffering. she lived when he allegedly raped her in her Soho apartment on January 31, 2013.

Afterwards, a defiant Haggis said he would appeal the decision, adding: I can’t live with lies like that. I will die clearing my name.

Haggis’ lawyer had told jurors that his client could not afford Thursday’s verdict and that he will not be able to afford the additional punitive damages the jury decided on Monday, despite the fact that he had earned as much as $25 million over its 40 years on the show. Company.

Haggis’ lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, told the jury that her client had been “financially decimated” since Breest filed the complaint and that he “had no money”.

“He won’t be able to pay the judgment you’ve already created,” Chaudhry said. “And there’s no way he could pay anything more.”

Paul Haggis in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Paul Haggis claims he’s broke and can’t afford to pay a jury price to rape accuser Haleigh Breest.

Paul Haggis in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Haggis said he made between $22 million and $25 million in show business, but only had a few hundred thousand dollars left.

Haggis, 69, testified that during his career as a writer, producer and director of TV shows and films – including his work on blockbusters including the James Bond films starring Daniel Craig and one of the “Terminator” films – since the 1980s, it has earned between $22 million and $25 million.

But between paying millions in legal fees to fight the lawsuit, paying huge sums to the Church of Scientology, giving up half his wealth in two divorces and making a series of bad financial decisions, Haggis probably only has more than “a few hundred thousand” to his name, he says.

Haggis said much of his TV and film earnings went to his two ex-wives, who both received half of his earnings from the time they married – plus child support and estates .

The former Scientologist also said he had donated around $2 million to the church during his more than 30 years as a member.

Haggis said he made bad real estate investments in houses in Florida that he lost money on and then another $2 million was lost in the 2008 stock market crash. He also lost a house $4 million California company following an earthquake for which he did not have earthquake insurance.

Haleigh Breest enters the courtroom.

Haleigh Breest was awarded $7.5 million in damages and now a jury is determining how much to award her in punitive damages.

Haleigh Breest in Manhattan Supreme Court.

Breest accused Haggis of raping her in her Soho apartment on January 31, 2013.

Since Breest filed his lawsuit, Haggis said, he has paid $2.67 million in legal fees to four separate law firms and still owes more than $500,000 in legal fees – while struggling to find a job in Hollywood under the dark cloud of rape accusations.

The filmmaker said he’s had to “save up” since the lawsuit to pay for legal fees, even cutting back on little things like canceling his cable and streaming subscriptions and using his girlfriend’s Netflix account instead. daughter.

Haggis said he ‘drained’ his retirement savings, he borrowed $1million from his ex-wife to help pay legal fees and he has two liens on his Mercer Street flat – where Breest says she was raped – which he shares in a trust with his four children.

Haggis said he tried to sell the apartment in 2019, but pulled it off the market because he would only get offers lower than the $2.9 million he paid in 2006.

And even if he sold it, he would have no money left after paying his debts – not counting the jury prizes at Breest, he said.

When asked what his assets are today, Haggis replied, “a few hundred thousand. Maybe. Maybe not.”

Haggis also testified that he wouldn’t expect to earn a substantial Hollywood salary again until “I clear my name.”

Breest’s attorney, Zoe Salzman, told jurors on Monday that “the evidence will show once again that the defendant is not telling you the truth.”

“Like other people with assets, he’s good at hiding them,” Salzman said.

Breest’s other attorney, Ilann Maazel, asked the jury to award Breest an amount that will deter and punish Haggis for allegedly victimizing another woman.

“He still doesn’t recognize that he did anything wrong,” Maazel said.

After the verdict, Salzman said “justice had been served”, while Maazel called the decision “the right thing”.

Haggis took the witness stand for the second time after already testifying for three days during the main phase of the trial to determine whether he was responsible for rape.

He maintained that the sexual encounter with Breest was consensual. Chaudhry said Thursday that she did not believe her client had had a fair trial.

Haggis’ side claimed Scientology was behind Breest and four other sexual assault and rape allegations against him.

Scientology maintained it was not involved in the case, and Haggis’ side admitted there was no evidence linking Breest to Scientology.

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