Director Paul Haggis has been ordered to pay a total of $10 million in a rape case

Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis was ordered Monday to pay an additional $2.5 million in damages in a rape case, bringing the total he must pay to $10 million.

He is accused of sexually assaulting Halle Priest nearly a decade ago.

Brest’s lawyers applauded the ruling, but Haggis insisted he was falsely accused and financially damaged for running the civil action, and has vowed to appeal.

“I cannot live with lies like this,” he said as he left the court. “I will die clearing my name.”

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Oscar-winning screenwriter Paul Haggis was ordered Monday to pay an additional $2.5 million in damages in a rape case, bringing the total he must pay to $10 million.
(Julia Nickinson)

Priest said Haggis raped her and forced her to perform oral sex on him in his New York apartment on January 31, 2013. The director claims the sexual encounter was consensual.

Last week, the jury returned a verdict in Priest’s favor and awarded her $7.5 million in damages for her suffering. The jury also decided that she was liable for punitive damages.

The jury returned to court on Monday to hear testimony about Haggis’ finances and to determine how much he will have to pay.

Haggis has been questioned about his earnings from films like Academy Award winners “Crash” and “Million Dollar Baby” as well as the James Bond films “Casino Royale” and “Quantum of Solace.”

He explained to jurors the intricacies of the screenwriting compensation, and estimated that he made up to $25 million before taxes, fees for agents and other actors, and the division of assets with his two ex-wives.

Haggis has worked in cinema for over 40 years.

Last week, a jury ruled in favor of Haley Priest and awarded her $7.5 million in damages for her anguish.  The jury also decided that she was liable for punitive damages.

Last week, a jury ruled in favor of Haley Priest and awarded her $7.5 million in damages for her anguish. The jury also decided that she was liable for punitive damages.
(AP Photo/Julia Nekhinson)

The director has said he has suffered various financial losses throughout his career, including an uninsured home that was destroyed in the 1994 Northridge earthquake. But he said the Brest lawsuit wiped him out, and his legal bills exceeded $2.6 million.

“I have spent all the money I have at my disposal. I have screwed up my pension plan, living on loans, in order to pay for this case with a very naive belief in justice,” he said outside court. .

Brest Law questioned the veracity of Haggis’ claims about his financial situation.

“Nothing Paul Haggis says can be trusted,” said attorney Ilan Mazel.

After the verdict, Maazel said the jury “did the right thing”.

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Paul Haggis is accused of sexually assaulting Halle Priest nearly a decade ago.

Paul Haggis is accused of sexually assaulting Halle Priest nearly a decade ago.
(AP)

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Priest said she suffered professional and psychological harm from the incident at Haggis’ apartment. She had accepted an invitation to have a drink at his house after a movie premiere.

She sued for unspecified damages. Haggis has not been criminally charged.

Priest said in a statement after Thursday’s initial verdict that she appreciated “the opportunity to seek justice and accountability in court – and that the jury chose to pursue the facts – and believed me.”

The Associated Press contributed to this report.

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