Paul Haggis ordered to give DNA sample in alleged rape case07/10/2019
A judge has ordered Oscar-winning director Paul Haggis to give a DNA sample in the civil case brought against him by a publicist who claims he raped her in 2013.
Haleigh Breest had asked Manhattan Supreme Court Justice Robert Reed to allow the sample to be taken from the “Crash” director so she could compare it to DNA found in semen left on her tights the night she says she was raped by him at her Mercer Street apartment.
“The DNA sample sought herein is certainly relevant to this action, in that it could rebut a key allegation in defendant’s answer, and, in so doing, make it appear that plaintiff’s allegations are more probably true than not,” Reed wrote in Wednesday’s decision.
Breest’s lawyers said the sample is key to proving that not only did the “Million Dollar Baby” screenwriter give her oral sex but he also forced her to have sexual intercourse.
Haggis has maintained it was all consensual.
The judge ordered Haggis to take a DNA cheek swab within two months.
“This is an important decision by the court. We believe it is the first case of the #metoo era to order disclosure of DNA evidence,” said Breest’s lawyer, Zoe Salzman.
Haggis’ lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, said, “The DNA testing adds nothing here. Mr. Haggis has always acknowledged consensual sexual activity.”
Chaudhry also noted that Haggis has said he doesn’t remember if the pair had sexual intercourse.
“The real evidence that matters in this case is still under seal and once that evidence is unsealed, it will prove that Mr. Haggis has done nothing wrong,” Chaudhry added.
Since Breest filed her 2017 lawsuit, four more women have come forward with sexual misconduct claims against Haggis.
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