LOS ANGELES — Three new women have accused Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis of sexual assualt and rape, the Associated Press reported Friday.
The accusations follow a civil lawsuit filed in December against Haggis, 64, by New York publicist Haleigh Breest, who says he raped her in 2013.
The new accusers, who were in their late 20s or 30s when the incidents reportedly occurred, told the AP that Haggis tried to forcibly kiss them.
One woman said he attempted to sexually assault her in the late 2000s, and another said he followed her into a taxi after forcibly kissing her on a street corner in 2015. She told the AP that she managed to escape, though he harassed her via text messages until she blocked him.
The third one, who worked as a publicist in 1996 on a TV show Haggis produced, said Haggis forced her to perform oral sex and then raped her after their colleagues had left work for the night.
Haggis is best known as the director, producer and co-writer of 2004’s ‘Crash’, which awarded him two Oscars, for writing and best picture. He was also nominated for writing ‘Million Dollar Baby’ and co-writing ‘Letters From Iwo Jima’ and he recently directed the 2015 HBO miniseries ‘Show Me a Hero’.
“I just pulled away. He was just glaring at me and came at me again. I was really resisting,” the third woman told the AP. “He said to me, Do you really want to continue working? And then he really forced himself on me. I was just numb.”
When asked for comment on the new accusations, Haggis’s attorney, Christine Lepera, told the AP, “He didn’t rape anybody.”
Haggis sued Breest in December, according to the Hollywood Reporter, claiming that she was extorting him for $9 million.
Breest countered with her own lawsuit, according to the Hollywood Reporter. She says Haggis raped her at his apartment in SoHo after the 2013 premiere of the Steven Soderbergh movie ‘Side Effects.’