The filmmaker has been charged with sexual assault and aggravated personal injury.
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NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 08: Paul Haggis attends Neon hosts the after party for the New York Premiere of "Ingrid Goes West" at Alamo Drafthouse Cinema on August 8, 2017 in New York City. (Photo by Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty Images)
Credit: Jared Siskin/Patrick McMullan via Getty

Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis has been arrested in Italy on charges of sexual assault and aggravated personal injury.

A young woman, identified only as "foreign" (meaning not Italian), pressed charges against Haggis on Sunday, accusing the director of forcing her to engage in sexual intercourse for two days in the city of Ostuni, where he was scheduled to participate in a film festival, according to AP and several other Italian news media.

Haggis then accompanied the young woman to Papola Casale Airport in Brindisi and left her there despite "precarious physical and psychological conditions," per Italian news agency ANSA. Airport staff and police assisted the woman and accompanied her to a local hospital, where she sought medical care. The woman filed formal charges soon after.

"Under Italian Law, I cannot discuss the evidence," Haggis' lawyer Priya Chaudhry said in a statement to EW. "That said, I am confident that all allegations will be dismissed against Mr. Haggis. He is totally innocent, and willing to fully cooperate with the authorities so the truth comes out quickly."

This isn't the first time Haggis, best known for his work on Oscar-winning titles Million Dollar Baby and Crash, has been accused of assault. In 2017, publicist Haleigh Breest sued Haggis and alleged that he violently raped her in New York following a film premiere in 2013. The lawsuit prompted three more women to come forward with allegations of sexual misconduct and assault the following year. Haggis has denied all the claims made against him.

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