Director Paul Haggis has become the latest Hollywood figure to be accused of sexual misconduct, as four women come forward with claims against him, including assault and rape. The first woman, a publicist named in court papers as Haleigh Breest, filed a civil lawsuit against the director last month, which prompted three more women who were not named, to come forward with their allegations to Breest's New York City attorneys. They all told their stories to Breest's attorneys, and also to the Associated Press in separate interviews. Earlier today, Breest's attorneys filed an amended complaint that includes details from the three new accusers. Paul Haggis has denied these claims, filing a counter-complaint alleging that Breest and her lawyers sought $9 million to avoid any further legal action, which he claimed to be extortion. Here's what the director's lawyer, Christine Lepera, had to say in a statement about these allegations.

"Mr. Haggis denies these anonymous claims in whole. In a society where one of a person's fundamental rights is the ability to confront an accuser, that right has now been eviscerated when it comes to anyone being charged in the press with any sort of sexual misconduct. Notably, no one has reached out to anyone on Mr. Haggis' team other than the press to report this. He views the fact that these reports appear to be spearheaded from the law-firm representing Ms. Breest, as a further tactic to try to harm him and continue their effort to obtain money. Mr. Haggis also questions whether Scientology has any role here, which he notes has been attacking him for years with false accusations. We reiterate our claim against Ms. Breest, and note again that we initiated the legal proceedings, not Ms. Breest."

Haleigh Breest claims the director raped her in 2013, after he lured her back to his Manhattan apartment following a film premiere. Breest accepted the director's offer for a ride home, but he instead brought her to his apartment in SoHo and invited her up for a drink. Fearing she would be insulting him if she denied the offer, she accepted, but once inside the director's apartment, he became very "sexually aggressive" and started kissing her. She stated that she felt "petrified and paralyzed" while the director reportedly said, "You're scared of me, aren't you?" He forced her into his bedroom where he forced her to perform oral sex on him then raped her. She woke up hours later and saw the director sleeping in another bedroom so she left.

One of the other three unidentified women in the lawsuit also accused the director of raping her. This latest rape accuser was a 28 year old publicist who was working on a TV show that Paul Haggis was producing, back in 1996. The producer called her to review photos from the show that night in her office, and while she "thought it was odd," she agreed because he was "the ultimate boss." When Haggis arrived, everyone else at the office had left, and Haggis insisted on speaking in a back office. Once they got into the office, he immediately started kissing her. Here's what the unidentified accuser had to say in her interview with the Associated Press.

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"I just pulled away. He was just glaring at me and came at me again. I was really resisting. He said to me, 'Do you really want to continue working?' And then he really forced himself on me. I was just numb. I didn't know what to do."

Her account was corroborated by a friend who stated that in the weeks after the attack, the woman lost weight and seemed depressed, and when the friend asked what had happened, she told her that Paul Haggis had raped her. The friend also spoke to AP under the condition of anonymity because she still works in the entertainment industry and fears retribution. The accuser said she thought about going to the police but feared no one would believe her and her career would be over. She added that the #MeToo movement gave her the courage to come forward.

The third accuser was in her 30s when she met with the director to pitch him about a television series, and while there were others in the room when she got there, when the director arrived, they quickly left. He proceeded to tell her about the arrangement he had with his wife about having affairs, when he came around the table and tried to kiss her. She ran to her car and while Paul Haggis gave chase, she managed to get to her car and escape before he caught up to her. The fourth accuser stated that the director forcibly tried to kiss her and then followed her into a cab in Canada in 2015. The accuser was in her late 20s and had known the director from film events. When the cab got to her apartment, he threw money at the driver and chased her before she was able to get inside and shut the door. You can read more about all of these accusations against Paul Haggis at Associated Press.

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