The sexual assault civil trial of Oscar-winning Crash writer-producer Paul Haggis continued today in Manhattan, with accuser Haleigh Breest back on the witness stand.
The veteran publicist continued to describe a night in 2013 — she was in her mid-30s and he was in his late 50s — when Haggis invited her to his NYC apartment after they’d attended the premiere of the film Side Effects. According to the Associated Press, Breest testified today that Haggis tried to kiss her, backed her up against a refrigerator and asked, “Are you scared of me?”
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She then went on give details of the alleged assault. The AP reports that Breest testified about a painful and terrifying attack that left her “really struggling to comprehend what had happened.”
“I couldn’t understand how somebody who seemed like a nice guy would do that,” she added on the stand.
Breest later testified that Haggis told her, “You’ve been flirting with me for months,” the AP reported. She said she replied, “I don’t even know you.” Later, she said today, Haggis made another series of sexual advances that ended with rape.
“I was like a trapped animal,” Breests testified, per AP. “There was nothing for me to do.”
Filed in 2017 as the #MeToo movement was gaining momentum, Breest’s lawsuit (read it here) alleges ““a shocking and egregious case of rape and sexual assault.” She is seeking unspecified damages.
Haggis has called her allegations “outrageous and wholly baseless.”
The Associated Press contributed to this report.
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