At Paul Haggis Rape Trial, Jane Doe #3 Alleges More Disturbing Behavior

The witness-accuser went as far as changing Haggis’s name on her cell phone from “Paul” to “Motherfucker” to more readily ID him

NEW YORK, NY—The third of four witnesses accusing Paul Haggis of predatory behavior took the stand Thursday in a Manhattan courthouse, testifying against the Oscar-winning screenwriter on behalf of former film publicist Haleigh Breest, who has accused Haggis of forcing her to give him oral sex and then raping her in 2013.

The witness, referred to as “Jane Doe #3” to protect her identity, told the court that she received her first email from Haggis in September 2015.

“Lovely hanging out with you and thank you for letting me drag you up to dance,” he wrote. “Let’s meet up for coffee or a drink before I run off again.”

She thought it was supposed “to be a professional work meeting. I’ve had professional meetups and glass of wine with other people in this industry as well.”

They met up at the restaurant at the Four Seasons in Toronto. However, the accuser testified, Haggis soon began giving off disturbing vibes.

Upon learning she was attending a film premiere that evening, he “insisted on” joining her as well. “I knew he was actively trying to figure out a way to get a ticket,” she said. The two shared a business acquaintance, so Haggis called that contact and quickly arranged it so that “my ticket was tied to his.” Doe #3 said that she once she was seated at the event she found herself isolated from her boss and the other people she knew there.

She was made more uncomfortable when Haggis pulled her towards him in a deep embrace, Jane Doe #3 testified.

Having made post-premiere plans with her employer, Doe then headed toward the private club Soho House. And, again, Haggis insisted on coming with.

That evening, Jane Doe #3 said, Haggis “put his hand on the small of my back and started introducing me to people. I didn’t want [a relationship to be implied by his behavior].” Finally, he left her holding two drinks, and she told him she wasn’t interested.

Haggis then “proceeded to open-mouth kiss my face and pull my body towards him,” she claimed, adding that when she squirmed away, he barely noticed. “Yeah, this is going to be good,” he said.

When Doe finally got into a cab to leave for the evening, Haggis followed her there, too. She told the court that screamed at him to get out and yelled “Stop!” while the cab driver did nothing. The evening ended with her screaming and cursing at the Crash writer to leave her alone.

Doe further testified that Haggis “made me feel like he was not just someone to be emotionally feared, he was someone to be physically feared.” Once she was home, she “had the sense that he was not going to stop at anything.”

She continued, “He was so aggressive and so unstoppable in whatever he wanted… the thought of rape came to my mind. This is not somebody… [where] you’ll say no and he’ll stop.

In the end, Jane Doe #3 told the court, she changed Haggis’s ID on her cell phone from “Paul” to “Motherfucker.”

Haggis has said the encounters with Breest and the Jane Does were all consensual, denies he did anything wrong, and has suggested that his bitter break from Scientology has caused the church to frame him. Breest testified Friday that she has no link to the church and is not being propped up by Scientology; the outcry witness said something similar on the stand Tuesday.

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