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James Bond screenwriter ‘arrested in Italy on sexual assault’

Filmmaker Paul Haggis has reportedly been arrested on suspicion of sexual assault in Italy. 

The 69-year-old, who is best known for directing the Oscar-winning film Crash and writing the script for James Bond movie Casino Royale, was allegedly detained on Sunday, Italian news media has reported. 

Haggis was in Italy to attend a film festival that is set to begin in the tourist town of Ostuni, Puglia on Tuesday. 

Italian publications and agencies such as LaPresse are said to have released statements from prosecutors in the nearby city of Brindisi, stating how they were investigating allegations from a ‘young foreign woman’ who claims she was forced to have ‘non-consensual’ sexual relations over two days. 

The woman was also reportedly ‘forced to see medical care’ according to prosecutors Antonio Negro and Livia Orlando, who are leading the investigation. 

In the statement, obtained by the Associated Press, it is claimed that after a couple of days ‘of non-consensual relations, the woman was accompanied by the man’ to Brindisi airport on Sunday and ‘was left there at dawn despite [her] precarious physical and psychological conditions’. 

Paul Haggis
Haggis, won two Oscars – best picture and best original screenplay – for Crash in 2006 (Picture: WireImage)

Airport staff and police officers are said to have noticed the woman’s ‘obvious confused state’ and that, after initial treatment, she was moved to Brindisi’s police headquarters where officers escorted her to a local hospital for examination. 

Prosecutors reportedly added that the woman has ‘formalised her complaint and cited circumstances which were subsequently looked into for confirmation by investigators’. 

Police have said they are unable to provide information about the case or Haggis’ current whereabouts. 

Paul Haggis
Haggis was due to attend a film festival on Tuesday (Picture: Getty Images)

Haggis won the best original screenplay Oscar for Crash in 2006, with the drama boasting a star-studded cast including Sandra Bullock, Matt Dillon, Don Cheadle, Terrence Howard and Thandiwe Newton. It also won the best picture Oscar that year as well as best film editing. 

His 2004 movie Million Dollar Baby also won best picture at the Oscars. 

The screenwriter also co-wrote James Bond film Quantam of Solance, which starred Daniel Craig. 

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