James Bond screenwriter Paul Haggis has denied a rape allegation after being released from house arrest, instead insisting he made “two mistakes”.
Prosecutors have appealed a court order to release the writer on bail following the charge against a British woman, Mail Online can reveal.
Haggis, 69, was arrested last month after the 29-year-old, who cannot be named for legal reasons, told police she was allegedly subjected to a terrifying 48-hour ordeal by him.
He was under house arrest for nearly two weeks before being released, but remained in Italy, where the attack is believed to have taken place, in order to clear his name as the investigation continues.
Haggis spoke in detail about the allegations for the first time with Italian newspaper La Repubblica, with the Oscar winner saying: “I didn’t rape anyone but I made two mistakes.” My life was destroyed in a minute.
Canadian Haggis said: “My first mistake was allowing someone I barely knew to come and visit. It was silly. The second error occurred on the last morning after an incident that I personally found particularly unpleasant, I decided to put an end to this situation.
“I took this person to the airport a few hours before their flight. I am angry with myself for these errors in judgment, but I cannot understand how they resulted in false and damaging accusations against me.
James Bond screenwriter Paul Haggis has denied a rape allegation and said he made ‘two mistakes’, after he was released from house arrest (pictured June 22)
The Canadian, 69, said he was calm during his two weeks under house arrest because he knew he had “committed no crime”. File photo: Haggis is pictured on October 16, 2015 arriving at the Rome Film Festival
The British woman, whose identity is known to Mail Online, and who is a college graduate and lives in Kensington, west London, was found by Brindisi airport staff in a disheveled condition last month and they alerted the police.
Following her claims that she had been held in a bed and breakfast, Harris was detained and questioned for several hours before being placed under house arrest by a local magistrate.
That was overturned by a court last week, but he will remain in Italy for the time being despite another court case in Manhattan in September over another sexual assault complaint from his former publicist Haleigh Breest.
The British woman’s lawyer Claudio Strata told MailOnline: ‘I don’t know the specific details, but I can only assume that the prosecutor and police have found material which they believe warrants an appeal to court. against the decision to release Mr. Paul Haggis.
“At this stage we cannot intervene and it is up to them to decide what to do, but we have full confidence in the prosecution and the work of the police.
“There may be new evidence they have found that warrants an appeal.
“But we will have to wait for the court’s decision.”
Haggis, who co-wrote the screenplays for the Bond blockbusters Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace, also won two Oscars for Crash in 2006 and was also behind Million Dollar Baby.
He said of the Italian judicial system: “There are some things that I cannot understand, such as how it is possible that in your country (Italy) you can start and continue a trial even when the prosecution is not supported by clear evidence.
“It seems strange and unfair to me that innocent people can apparently be prosecuted for years. My lawyers explained to me that in Italy a trial could last for many years. I cannot even imagine the damage that this kind of persecution could cause my family and my ability to support them.’
Haggis wrote the screenplays for Daniel Craig’s blockbusters Casino Royale and Quantum of Solace and he won an Oscar with his screenplay for the 2004 hit Crash
Haggis added: ‘During the two weeks of my house arrest I was calm because I knew I had committed no crime and I always had faith in the justice system. Naturally, there were difficult times but I was able to overcome them thanks to the love and support of my family and friends, but also to the universe of my lawyer and his team, who were exceptional .
“Being charged with sexual violence, a serious crime, one that I absolutely did not commit, was devastating. It is an experience that no innocent person should have. It was hard not being able to peak with my kids and family, who had come to Italy to be with me during the film festival (he was due to attend last month).
“After two weeks my son got permission to see me when he was about to leave and he ran up to me and we hugged, he said he loved me and he was strong. It’s something I will never forget. It was great to have my daughter and her partner and their two children with me.
He faces legal proceedings in the US where he is being sued by Ms Breest, who claims he raped her in 2013 – she originally filed the complaint in 2017 but proceedings were delayed due to Covid and are expected to begin in October.
Haggis denies any wrongdoing and says the meeting, which happened after a prime minister, was consensual.
Haggis was also asked if the case in the United States and the ongoing investigation suggested he had a problem with women and he replied: ‘I have worked in theatre, television and film for over 40 years and I have worked with literally thousands of women. I have been married twice. I have one wonderful son and three daughters, two of whom are married to amazing women. I had relationships and great friendships with dozens of women.
“None of them have ever gone to the police or a prosecutor to charge me in any country in the world. No, I don’t have a problem with women.
He was also asked if there could be a connection to the Church of Scientology, of which he was a member until his departure in 2009 and on which he then wrote a damning article for the New Yorker magazine and criticized them. in television documentaries.
Haggis said: ‘I don’t have proof. But from what I’ve learned from Scientology, I know they can do anything. If you speak against them, they will use any means to destroy your reputation, your career and your family.
‘It would take too long to explain, slowly I learned that Scientology is in fact a deeply corrupt organization, maybe it was something I should have understood much sooner, but clearly I couldn’t do anymore part of this organization and defend it.’