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Paul Haggis Denies New Accusations of Sexual Misconduct by Three Women

Oscar-winning writer and director Paul Haggis vehemently denied accusations of sexual assault Friday, following an Associated Press report that detailed allegations by three additional women.

The new accusations follow a December lawsuit filed by publicist Haleigh Breest, who alleges that the director raped her in 2013. Haggis denied the accusations and counter-sued, claiming Breest was looking for a $9 million “ransom,” according to the suit.

The latest allegations came after the other unidentified women learned of the suit and decided to come forward with their experiences.

One woman said Haggis forced her to perform oral sex on him and then raped her. Another one of the accusers alleges that Haggis told her “I need to be inside you” before she managed to get away from him.

Christine Lepera, an attorney for Haggis, denied the latest accusations and said the right to confront an accuser “has now been eviscerated when it comes to anyone being charged in the press with any sort of sexual misconduct.”

Lepera added: “He views the fact that these reports appear to be spearheaded from the law-firm representing Ms. Breest, as a further tactic to try to harm him and continue their effort to obtain money.” She said her client is also questioning whether the accusations are driven by Scientologists that Haggis says have attacked him for years with false accusations.

Haggis is the only the latest high-profile figure to be accused of sexual harassment and/or assault. After the New York Times and New Yorker ran bombshell exposés about decades of alleged sexual misconduct by Harvey Weinstein, a wave of similar accusations confronted men including Kevin Spacey, Matt Lauer, Russell Simmons, Louis C.K., and James Toback.

Haggis is writer and director of 2004’s “Crash,” which won Academy Awards for best picture and best original screenplay. Haggis also earned an Oscars nod for best adapted screenplay for “Million Dollar Baby.”

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