Lawyers for rape-accused Hollywood writer-director Paul Haggis pulled a “PR stunt” when they tried to use a ruling in a Harvey Weinstein case to unseal documents in the rape case against Haggis, the accuser’s lawyers say.
Weinstein’s lawyer successfully petitioned a federal judge to unseal emails between Alexandra Canosa — who claims she was attacked by Weinstein on multiple occasions from 2010 through 2017 — and the movie producer which, Weinstein’s camp says, show their sexual encounters were consensual.
Haggis’ lawyers on Tuesday, argued for the similar disclosure of “confidential” documents in publicist Haleigh Breest’s rape suit against Haggis in Manhattan civil court.
Breest — who claims she was raped by the “Crash” director in 2013 at his Mercer Street apartment — argued in a letter filed late Tuesday that Canosa’s civil case against disgraced movie mogul Weinstein is very different and can’t be used when considering whether to unseal documents in Breest’s case.
Her lawyer, Zoe Salzman, says federal case law from Weinstein litigation doesn’t apply to her state case and “it is plain defendant [Haggis] is scraping the bottom of the barrel … he is now combing federal dockets for fodder to support his campaign to smear Plaintiff [Breest] in the press.”
Salzman also wrote that in the Weinstein case they were seeking to unseal emails between Canosa, the accuser, and Weinstein, the accused. While in the Haggis case he wants documents between Breest and other people to be made public, Salzman wrote.
“Tellingly, Defendant did not request that the Court unseal his communications with Plaintiff,” reads Salzman’s letter.
“The Court should disregard this letter as a mere PR stunt designed to stimulate negative coverage of Plaintiff by the New York Post,” the lawyer’s letter said, including a link to The Post’s story from Tuesday.
The lawyers for the “Million Dollar Baby” screenwriter have said that the sealed information could clear Haggis’ name.
Haggis — who has maintained his and Breest’s encounter was consensual — has also been accused of sexual misconduct by four other women. He has denied those allegations.
The lawyer repping Haggis did not immediately return a request for comment.
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