Paul Haggis Rape Accuser Demands Any Disguised Sexual Misconduct Settlements

Haleigh Breest has served a subpoena on CAA and in a bid to enforce document demands, her lawyers cite the Donald Trump "hush deal" with Stormy Daniels.
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Donald Trump's attempt to keep quiet his affair with porn star Stormy Daniels has had all sorts of political and legal implications, but Trump's $130,000 "hush deal" on the eve of the 2016 election may be becoming quietly influential for those investigating other sexual misconduct. A case in point is the ongoing civil suit brought by publicist Haleigh Breest against Academy Award-winning director Paul Haggis over an alleged rape.

The parties are now in discovery after a New York judge refused to dismiss Breest's legal claims. Now the two sides are fighting over a subpoena that Breest has issued to CAA, Haggis' talent agency.

Breest seeks documents and communications that Haggis' attorneys slam as part of an effort to cause his "total ruination."

In a bid to quash the subpoena, Haggis attacks Breest for making oppressive third-party discovery requests to companies with whom he does business" while also softly referencing his status as a well known anti-Scientologist. "Such tactics call into question whether [Breest] has obtained outside funding for her litigation from parties with an interest in harming [Haggis]," writes his lawyers.

In particular, Haggis is resisting a call for past settlements that he has made. After giving the argument that CAA only has a limited role for him in procuring business opportunities, Haggis attorney Jeffrey Movit posits that there is no basis for the court to allow Breest to take discovery into settlements and actual or threatened litigation.

"It is a matter of public record that [Haggis] has been a party to breach-of-contract litigation regarding profits for the movie Crash," writes Movit, referencing the 2004 film that earned Oscars for best picture and best original screenplay. "Documents regarding the Crash litigation, or similar business disputes, will do nothing to prove Plaintiff’s claims, but will require the disclosure of sensitive and wholly irrelevant information."

On Friday, Breest's lawyers at Emery Celli stood by the subpoena, including the call for documents concerning suits, agreements and other legal activity. 

"Defendant misleadingly suggests the subpoena seeks documents relating to any and all legal actions in which he is involved," states the opposition to quash. "As discussed with Defendant during the October 4, 2018 meet and confer, the subpoena was so-worded because settlement agreements involving sexual misconduct are often written to conceal their true subject matter. Therefore, along with settlement agreements that refer by name to sexual misconduct, the CAA subpoena also requests documents relating to legal activity that, though styled as another type of claim, actually pertain to claims of sexual assault or other sexual misconduct."

A footnote nods to precedent for disguising payouts...

"See e.g., Joe Palazzolo & Michael Rothfeld, Trump Lawyer Used Private Company, Pseudonyms to Pay Porn Star ‘Stormy Daniels’, The Wall Street Journal."

In a declaration, Haggis denied any disguised payouts.

 “I have been informed that Plaintiff's counsel in this action has made an assertion that I may have settled claims of sexual misconduct with third parties, by executing settlement agreements with those third parties that are disguised as settling other types of claims," he stated. "This is completely untrue. Contrary to Plaintiff's counsel's baseless speculation, I have never entered into such a ‘disguised’ settlement agreement with anyone.”