Paul Haggis’s Alleged Rape Victims’ Text Messages Are Graphic, “He Was So Rough And Aggressive Never ever Again!!!”

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Academy Award-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis says he’s become a pariah in Hollywood thanks to a publicist’s rape claim. In court documents filed last week, the Crash director blames Haleigh Breest’s 2017 lawsuit — and the subsequent media attention — as resulting in an entertainment community that will no longer work with him, thus depriving him of necessary income to defend himself in court.

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In a rather unusual request, Haggis, 66, is now asking a New York judge to allow him to publicly air evidence that’s currently deemed “confidential.”

 

The evidence, procured through the discovery process and under seal, is a series of text messages between Breest and her close friends on the morning after the alleged incident back in 2013. Haggis believes these messages will counter the harm inflicted upon his reputation and provide contemporaneous evidence of what he claims was a consensual affair.

 

In court papers opposing the lifting of confidentiality, Breest’s legal team contends that the texts show the reverse — that they are consistent with someone who has been victimized by a violent sexual assault.

 

In the texts, which are described in court papers (Breest’s attorneys attempted to redact them but failed to properly do so), Breest writes about “getting a ride home” from Haggis after the 2013 premiere of the Steven Soderbergh movie Side Effects. She discusses in graphic terms the physical impact of the encounter, adding, “He was so rough and aggressive never ever again!!!”

 

The Plaintiff’s friend responds, “I would call this borderline rape,” and, according to the description of the texts, they then discuss allegations that other prominent Hollywood figures, including Harvey Weinstein, also raped women. (Notably, the exchange occurred long before Weinstein’s misdeeds became widely public and before the #metoo movement.)

 

In the texts, Breest also raises the possibility of seeing Haggis again at other work events, and how, if that happened, she wanted to be “the one in control.”

 

The two sides dispute the meaning of the texts. Haggis’ lawyers see it as evidence she wished to reprise the relationship, while Breest’s lawyers focus on how she expressed her desire to no longer be a victim. Haggis’ camp sees her texts to be both boastful and jovial while Breest’s lawyers see any minimization of what happened to be a coping mechanism. “Social science research demonstrates that this impulse is common among rape victims, who frequently seek to ‘reframe’ the experience in order to regain a sense of control,'” state her attorneys at the Emery Celli firm.

 

Haggis’ request to make these texts non-confidential is itself out of the ordinary. The filmmaker is now being represented by Priya Chaudhry after splitting with Christine Lepera .

 

Chaudhry, in one of her first filings in the case, complains how “Breest’s lawyers, and the powerful interests aligned with them, have spread this [rape] fiction in their court papers and in countless articles in the press.”

Written By: Tommy Lightfoot Garrett
Photographs are Courtesy:  AP
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