Paul Haggis can argue Church of Scientology behind rape allegation, choose guidelines

Paul Haggis can argue Church of Scientology behind rape allegation, choose guidelines

Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis can be allowed to argue that the Church of Scientology is behind a rape allegation towards him, a choose in New York has dominated.

Haggis, who was individually accused over the summer time of sexually assaulting a lady at an Italian movie pageant, can be permitted to argue that church members had been concerned in a earlier rape allegation introduced by movie publicist Haleigh Breest courting again to 2013. That case, stemming from a civil lawsuit pursued by Breest, is ready to go to trial subsequent month.

Haggis has claimed that the encounter with Breest was consensual and that the allegation towards him got here in retaliation for his choice to depart Scientology and to develop into a vocal critic of it.

“Haggis isn’t any peculiar defendant in a civil case,” his attorneys wrote in courtroom filings seen by Selection. “He’s essentially the most public enemy of a infamous, nefarious, highly effective and well-funded establishment which is thought to destroy its detractors.”

In courtroom paperwork, Breest’s attorneys have sought to dam that protection at trial, calling it a “speculative fantasy” and saying that neither Breest nor witnesses have any connection to the church. “Haggis has not produced one shred of proof to assist this bogus story,” they’ve mentioned.

However on Friday, the choose presiding over the case, Sabrina Kraus, dominated Haggis can be permitted to boost the argument in New York state supreme courtroom and referenced the director’s “stormy exit from The Church”.

“The jury is entitled to be told of any doable motive [Breest] might have and about [Scientology leaders’] efforts to discredit Haggis,” Kraus wrote. “Haggis ought to have the chance to current proof that may present that the church was, in actual fact, looking for to embroil Haggis in ruinous, false allegations relating to girls previous to Breest’s allegations right here.

“He was a member of the church for over 30 years. As a routine a part of membership within the church, he needed to report any ‘sexual transgressions’ exterior his marriage to the church. He rose to a high place within the church. In an interview in 2011 with the New Yorker, Haggis predicted there can be an allegation made towards him, that the church can be behind the allegation,” the ruling mentioned.

Haggis, who in 2006 received an Oscar for writing and directing “Crash”, left the church in 2009 over its opposition to homosexual marriage. He later known as the group based by science fiction writer L Ron Hubbard a “cult”, and he cooperated with an article within the New Yorker titled “Going Clear” that was later tailored for a documentary essential of the church.

The movie director’s attorneys have mentioned there may be proof the church was making an attempt to “discover dust” on him, together with “ruinous, false allegations relating to girls” earlier than Breest’s rape allegation was made in 2017. They’ve additionally argued that the Scientology church has come to see Haggis the way in which Iran regards Salman Rushdie, who was the goal of an assassination try in August.

Kraus’s ruling locations Scientology on the middle of two rape trials, one involving Haggis and one other, in Los Angeles, centering on church member and actor Danny Masterson.

Masterson’s accusers in his case have filed a civil swimsuit claiming the church harassed them after they reported him to regulation enforcement. The choose within the legal case towards Masterson has indicated she allowed some dialogue of the church into proof.

In authorized preparations for the New York trial, Breest was denied permission to convey up the Italian allegations towards Haggis. In that case, the director was held beneath home arrest for 16 days. An Italian choose later dominated that there was inadequate proof to proceed to detain him. There are conflicting stories as to the standing of the investigation itself.

Breest’s attorneys had been profitable in barring Haggis from convey up his funds, nevertheless. He beforehand claimed that the plaintiff’s allegations had precipitated emotional misery as a result of it was unimaginable for him to work. Breest can be permitted to name three different witnesses – every recognized solely as “Jane Doe” – who’ve additionally made sexual assault allegations towards Haggis.

Breest by no means took her allegations towards Haggis to regulation enforcement for a legal investigation, saying she feared police wouldn’t consider her.

In an announcement to Selection, the Church of Scientology mentioned it “has nothing to do with the claims towards Haggis nor does it have any relation to any relation to his accusers.

“The declare is absurd and patently false,” the church’s assertion mentioned.

The church has additionally claimed that Haggis is a “con man” who “conspired with anti-Scientologists to disgrace his personal accusers by ‘accusing’ them of constructing their claims on behalf of the Church of Scientology”.

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