A civil lawsuit charging Oscar-winning filmmaker Paul Haggis with raping a publicist has prompted three additional women to come forward with their own sexual misconduct accusations, including another publicist who says he forced her to perform oral sex, then raped her. One of the other women speaking out told the AP that Haggis tried to sexually assault her. "I need to be inside you," she recalled him saying, before she managed to run away. Another of the new accusers said Haggis held down her arms, forcibly kissed her on a street corner, then followed her into a taxi. She said she later escaped his clutches. When asked about the new accusations, Christine Lepera, attorney for the 64-year-old screenwriter of Million Dollar Baby and Crash, said, "He didn't rape anybody."
In separate interviews with the AP, the three new accusers provided detailed accounts of encounters they say occurred between 1996 and 2015. The women were early in their careers in the entertainment business when, they say, the Hollywood heavyweight lured them to private or semi-private places under the guise of discussing productions or a subject of a professional nature. They all said Haggis first tried to kiss them. In two of the cases, they said, when they fought back, Haggis escalated his aggression. Haggis has denied the original rape allegation in a counter-complaint to the lawsuit, and said the accuser and her lawyer had demanded a $9 million payment to avoid legal action, which he characterized as extortion.
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