BRINDISI, Italy (AP) — A judge in southern Italy ordered Academy Award-winning film director Paul Haggis detained Wednesday at his hotel as Italian prosecutors continue to investigate a woman’s allegations that he had sexual intercourse. sex with her for two days without her. consent, Italian news reports said.
After holding a hearing that lasted several hours in the Brindisi court, Judge Vilma Gilli issued the ruling that extends his detention for now in the hotel in the town of Ostuni, where he was supposed to participate in an art festival this week, Corriere della Sera. reported daily.
Calls Wednesday night to Villi’s office went unanswered.
The Ansa and LaPresse news agencies said Villi had concluded that while Haggis, 69, who lives in the United States, is not a flight risk, there is a “danger” that evidence could be compromised. or that the alleged crime could be repeated
Haggis’ attorney, Michele Laforgia, said after the hearing that his client reiterated his complete innocence and has “hopeful hope” that he will eventually be vindicated.
“Paul Haggis answered all the questions and explained what happened,” Laforgia told reporters outside the courthouse. “He declared himself, as he had already done just after the arrest, completely innocent, in the sense that the sexual relations he had with this woman were totally consensual.”
While the woman’s allegations are investigated, the 69-year-old Canadian director, producer and screenwriter was initially ordered Sunday to be detained at his guest residence on a farm in Ostuni, a popular tourist town in Puglia, the region that forms the “heel” of the Italian peninsula.
Prosecutors have said he is under investigation for alleged aggravated sexual violence and aggravated personal injury.
Prosecutors have described the woman as young and foreign. State television and other Italian media said she is a 30-year-old English woman who knew Haggis before she came to Ostuni to take part in an arts festival that started this week.
Haggis co-wrote, directed and produced “Crash,” which won the 2006 Academy Awards for Best Picture and Best Screenplay. He also wrote the screenplay for “Million Dollar Baby,” another Oscar winner.
He has had legal problems in recent years stemming from allegations of sexual misconduct by four women in the United States.