‘Crash’ director Paul Haggis can’t afford the $7.5 million prize he’s received ordered to pay Her rape accuser, despite earning as much as $25 million during her 40 years in show business, testified Monday.
A second phase of the civil trial began Monday to determine how much the Oscar winner should pay accuser Haleigh Brest in punitive damages, after a jury last week found him liable in the case for $7.5 million in pain and pain damages. Brest suffering after he allegedly raped her in 2013.
Haggis’s lawyer, Priya Chaudhry, told jurors that her client has been “financially decimated” since Breest filed his case and that he “has no money.”
“He won’t be able to afford the judgment that he’s already created,” Chaudhry said. “And there’s no way he can afford anything else.”
Haggis, 69, testified that during his career writing, producing and directing television shows and movies, including his work on blockbusters like the James Bond movies starring Daniel Craig and one of the “Terminator” movies, since the 1980s made between $22 million and $25 million.
But between paying millions in legal fees to fight the lawsuit, paying huge sums to the Church of Scientology, giving up half his wealth in two divorces, and making a series of bad financial decisions, Haggis probably only has “a couple of days” left. of hundreds of thousands.” to his name, he said.
The “Million Dollar Baby” screenwriter said much of his TV and movie earnings went to his two ex-wives, who received half of his earnings from the time they were married, plus alimony and property.
The former Scientologist also said that he paid approximately $2 million to the church during his more than 30 years as a member.
Haggis said he made bad real estate investments in homes in Florida that he lost money on and then another $2 million went down the drain in the 2008 stock market crash. He also lost a $4 million home in California due to a earthquake for which you did not have earthquake insurance coverage.
Since Breest filed her lawsuit, Haggis said, she has paid $2.67 million in legal fees to four separate law firms and still owes more than $500,000 in legal fees, all while struggling to land a job in Hollywood under the dark cloud of rape allegations. .
The filmmaker said he had to “cheap” since the lawsuit to pay the legal bills, even cutting small things like canceling his cable and streaming subscriptions and instead using his daughter’s Netflix account.
Haggis said he had “gutted” his retirement savings, borrowed $1 million from his ex-wife to help pay legal fees and has two liens on his Mercer Street apartment where Breest says she was raped, which he shares in a trust with his four children.
Haggis claimed he had tried to sell the apartment in 2019, but took it off the market because it would only receive offers for less than the $2.9 million he paid for it in 2006.
And even if he sold it, there would be no money left over after he paid off his debts, not including the jury awards to Breest, he testified.
Asked what his assets are today, Haggis said: “Couple hundred thousand. Maybe. Maybe not.”
Haggis also testified that he would not expect to earn a substantial salary in Hollywood again until he “clears my name.”
Breest’s attorney, Zoe Salzman, told jurors Monday morning that “the evidence will once again show that the defendant is not telling the truth.”
“Like other people with assets, he has a knack for hiding them,” Salzman said.
Haggis took the witness stand for the second time after having testified for three days during the main phase of the trial to determine if he was responsible for rape.
He has maintained that the sexual encounter with Brest was consensual. Chaudhry said Thursday that he did not believe his client would get a fair trial.
haggis side claimed that Scientology was behind Brest and four other accusations of sexual assault and rape of women against him.
Scientology has maintained that it had no involvement in the case and the Haggis side has admitted that there is no evidence linking Brest to Scientology.