Award-winning “Crash” director and screenwriter Paul Haggis has quietly dropped his defamation lawsuit against the publicist who accused him of raping her in 2013.
A judge had previously tossed Haggis’ libel suit against accuser Haleigh Breest, in which he claimed Breest attempted to extort him for $9 million in exchange for not publicly accusing him of rape. Haggis filed documents with the court last year indicating that planned to appeal the decision.
But his lawyers Tuesday filed documents saying they no longer intended to pursue an appeal to reinstate his suit, which claimed emotional distress.
In her own lawsuit, Breest claims the married “Million Dollar Baby” screenwriter attacked her at his Mercer Street apartment, “violently” tearing off her tights before forcing her to perform oral sex, digitally penetrating her and then raping her.
Lawyers for Haggis told The Post he’d dropped the appeal for financial reasons, saying the “scorched earth campaign” waged by Breest’s lawyers have “devastated his finances.”
“To save his remaining resources, Mr. Haggis is not appealing his emotional distress claim—but he still fully disputes the accusations again him,” attorney Priya Chaudhry said in a statement. “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.”
Chaudry also called on Breest’s lawyer to unseal a series of secret documents that have been filed in the case.
Meanwhile, the publicist’s lawyer called Haggis’ defamation lawsuit “a disgrace.”
“It was in our view an attempt to silence and intimidate Ms. Breest, and it failed.”
Breest’s lawyer Ilann M. Maazel said in a statement. “Mr. Haggis should never have sued Ms. Breest in the first place, and we are pleased that he finally gave up.”
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