(UPDATED with statement from Haggis lawyer) Having already been tossed out of court once, Paul Haggis is now crashing his own appeal against a film publicist’s sexual assault allegations against him.
“We are counsel to Plaintiff-Appellant Paul Haggis,” said Jeffrey Movit in a letter to New York Supreme Court clerk Susanna Molina Rojas yesterday (read it and accompanying documents here). “We write to notify the Court that Mr. Haggis hereby withdraws his Notice of Appeal dated September 13, 2018 in the above-captioned action, the Mitchell Silerberg & Knupp LLP attorney added.
A lower court dismissed Haggis’ late 2017 instigated action back in August of last year.
However, this does not end the overall legal stand-off with Haleigh Breest yet. The Oscar winning director is still going ahead with his appeal against Breest in her lawsuit against him, which is still before the courts in the Empire state.
“Mr. Haggis’ lawsuit against Haleigh Breest was a disgrace,” said Ilann Maazel, a lawyer for the defendant in the first matter said Thursday. “It was in our view an attempt to silence and intimidate Ms. Breest, and it failed. Mr. Haggis should never have sued Ms. Breest in the first place, and we are pleased that he finally gave up.”
“Ms. Breest’s lawyers are waging a scorched earth campaign against Mr. Haggis—it seems their intent is to utterly ruin him,” another Haggis attorney Priya Chaudhry told Deadline in a statement Thursday.
“They have devastated his finances,” the MSK lawyer asserted of the director. “To save his remaining resources, Mr. Haggis is not appealing his emotional distress claim—but he still fully disputes the accusations again him. No court has yet ruled on the truth or falsity of those accusations. When all the facts come out, they will show Mr. Haggis has done nothing wrong. We again call on Ms. Breest’s lawyers to unseal the documents about Mr. Haggis they have kept from public view.”
Crash helmer Haggis took Breest to court in December 2017 after he says he was strong armed by reps for the accuser for a payment of $9 million to make “these outrageous and wholly baseless demands” go away. Breest alleged that Haggis assaulted her in 2013 at his NYC apartment after the movie premiere of Side-Effects.
At the time, as the multi-accused Haggis strongly denied those specific claims, attorneys for the director/producer said the unspecified-damages-seeking complaint was a preemption “since Defendant has threatened to file and publicize lurid factual (and false) assertions against Plaintiff unless he agreed to let her effectively bankrupt him.”
Breest soon afterward sued Haggis As noted, that matter is likely far from over.