Paul Haggis Calls Rape Accusations Against Him ‘Fiction,’ Admits to ‘Consensual’ Oral Sex

Publicist Haleigh Breest says “Crash” director raped her in 2013

Paul Haggis Calls Rape Accusations Against Him ‘Fiction,’ Admits to ‘Consensual’ Oral Sex

In a new court filing, Paul Haggis acknowledges that he had oral sex with a woman who has accused him of rape, but says the encounter was entirely consensual.

In a response to the lawsuit filed against him by Haleigh Breest, a publicist who said Haggis raped her in 2013, the Academy Award-winning director said the accusations are “shocking and scandalous claims of fiction.”

“All sexual activity and interactions between the parties were consensual,” Haggis said in court documents, obtained by TheWrap.  He also denies that Breest “lost consciousness as a result of any act.”

In December, after Breest filed her lawsuit, Haggis filed a countersuit saying that the publicist had attempted to extort $9 million from him in exchange for withholding her suit.

In his latest response, Haggis acknowledged the two had oral sex but denied that it was done “forcibly or without her consent,” saying that “this sexual act was consensual.”

Haggis also said that he was a “supporter of women’s rights,” arguing that “dozens of women who personally or professionally know [him] have offered statements of support to demonstrate the baselessness of the allegation that Defendant holds a gender-based animus.”

The response includes testimonials from eight character witnesses.

“I understand the ‘Me Too’ movement as a woman in my 30’s. I know the importance of being honest, true and the gravity of these claims. Still, knowing Paul Haggis I can’t believe them. I truly do not believe in all my experiences with him he is capable of anything I have read,” one person wrote.

Another said: “From what I have heard the accusers say transpired, it sounds absolutely fictitious since Paul does not speak as his accusers say he did or act as they accuse. Paul is probably the least threatening male I have ever met. I believe that Paul is 100% innocent.”

Haggis also included a statement from his assistant: “For close to 20 years I’ve worked with Paul Haggis as his assistant. Over the course of this time, I’ve worked closely with him in both offices and in his home. Due to the creative and demanding nature of our profession, our days often extended late into the night, and countless times I was alone with him. Not once did I feel threatened, nor did he ever act inappropriately. Furthermore, I’ve overseen the employment of all of his personal assistants, many female, who have also worked closely with him, and never have any come forward with complaints of violence or inappropriate behavior.”

Three additional women have come forward with sexual misconduct accusations against Haggis, including another publicist who said he raped her.

Pamela Chelin contributed to this report.