Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis claims he is “financially devastated” after being ordered to pay an additional $2.5 million in damages in a sexual assault lawsuit on Monday.
It brought a total of $10 million for the pain and suffering of a woman who sexually assaulted her nearly a decade ago.
Jurors decided on additional, punitive damages after hearing testimony about Haggis’ finances.
Last week, the same jury had already found that Haggis sexually assaulted publicist Hayleigh Brest in her New York apartment on January 31, 2013, and forced her to perform oral sex.
Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis has been ordered to pay an additional $2.5 million in damages in a sexual assault lawsuit, bringing his total to $10 million.
Last week, the same jury had already found that Haggis forced her to perform oral sex in his New York apartment in January 2013.
Once at her apartment, Haggis made several advances before he sexually assaulted her and then sexually assaulted her.
Brest brought a civil suit. Haggis was not charged criminally in the case.
‘I can’t live with lies like this. I will die clearing my name,” Higgs said after Thursday’s verdict, adding that he would appeal.
Haggis’ lawyer later told jurors how he could not afford the additional punitive damages the jury decided on Monday — despite making about $25 million during his 40-year show business career. .
Priya Chaudhary, Haggis’ attorney, told the jury that her client was “financially disadvantaged” because Brest brought her case and “has no money.”
‘I can’t live with lies like this. I will die clearing my name,” Haggis said, adding that he will appeal
Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis has claimed he has been “financially damaged” following the lawsuit.
‘He won’t be able to pay the judgment you’ve already made and there’s no way he’s going to pay any more.’
The judges did all the work after getting a crash course in film financing as Haggis was questioned about his earnings. Known as one of the creators of the Walker Texas Ranger TV series, Haggis won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for Crash in 2006.
He was additionally the screenwriter for Flags and Letters of Our Fathers from Iwo Jima, as well as the James Bond films Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace.
While explaining the intricacies of screenwriting compensation, he estimated that in his four decades in television and movies, he made more than his two predecessors before splitting taxes, agents’ and other representatives’ fees and assets. Women have earned 25 million dollars including tailoring. and properties
The 69-year-old filmmaker said during the trial that in the past years, he had suffered many financial losses in terms of assets, bad investments, divorce and giving money to the Church of Scientology.
Haggis revealed how he gave a whopping $2 million to the Church of Scientology over 30 years, gave away half his fortune in two divorces and made a series of bad financial decisions that left him alone now. has two One hundred thousand left
The 69-year-old filmmaker said during the trial that he had suffered various financial losses over the years — including the destruction of his home in the 1994 Northridge earthquake that cost him $4 million in insurance coverage. Hadn’t – but it was Brest’s trial that destroyed him.
Haggis revealed that he invested in bad real estate during the 2008 stock market crash, losing another $2 million on a house in Florida.
He said his legal bills topped $2.67 million, while his career suddenly dried up. He claims he still owes more than $500,000 in legal fees.
Brest, 36, said she suffered professional and psychological damage from what happened when she accepted an invitation to drink at her apartment after a film premiere.
Haggis said he would lose his retirement savings, borrowing $1 million from his ex-wife to help pay legal fees.
When trying to raise cash by selling his apartment in 2019, he received offers that were less than the $2.9 million he bought it for in 2006.
Apart from rewriting scripts for some relatively small gigs, Haggis said: ‘I will never work as a writer until I clear my name.
‘I have spent all the money at my discretion. I broke my retirement plan, I lived in debt, to pay for this case with a very simple faith in justice,” he said outside court.
Haggis said he was forced to economize and cut cable and even streaming subscriptions, citing how he resorted to using his daughter’s Netflix account.
Brest filed her civil lawsuit against Haggis in 2017 at the height of the #MeToo movement, claiming that the famous director sexually assaulted her when she was 26 years old.
Photo: Higgs leaves court with his family and members of his legal team on Thursday
Haggis also told how he had ‘destroyed’ his retirement savings and even borrowed $1 million from his ex-wife to help pay legal fees.
Brest’s lawyers questioned Mr Haggis’ claims of a breakdown.
Haggis won Oscars for Best Picture and Best Original Screenplay for Crash in 2006.
“Nothing Paul Haggis says can be believed,” said lawyer Ilan Mazel. “He still doesn’t know what he did wrong,” he added.
“Like other people with wealth, he’s adept at hiding it,” said attorney Zoe Salzman. “The evidence will then show that the accused is not being truthful with you.”
The judges left the courtroom without comment.
During the trial, lawyers for the filmmakers suggested that the breast suit was guided by the Church of Scientology, which Haggis abandoned and has since criticized.
Brest, 36, said he suffered professional and psychological damage from what happened when she accepted an invitation to drink at his apartment after a film premiere.
She declined to comment Monday.
In a statement after Thursday’s preliminary verdict, she said she “appreciated the opportunity for justice and accountability in court – and that the jury followed the facts – and trust me”.