Paul Haggis says he’s too broke to pay rapist Haleigh Breest

Crash director Paul Haggis can’t afford the $7.5 million fee he has to pay his rapist despite making up to $25 million in his 40 years in show business, he said Monday out.

A second phase of the civil trial began Monday to determine how much the Oscar winner should pay prosecutor Haleigh Breest in punitive damages after a jury awarded him $7.5 million in damages for Breest’s pain and suffering after him in the case last week accused of raping her in 2013.

Haggis’ attorney, Priya Chaudhry, told the jury that her client has been “financially decimated” since Breest brought her case and that he “has no money”.

“He won’t be able to pay the judgment that you’ve already drawn up,” Chaudhry said. “And there’s no way he can keep paying.”

Paul Haggis before the Manhattan Supreme Court.

Paul Haggis claims he’s broke and can’t afford to pay a jury prize on the Haleigh Breest rape lawsuit.

Paul Haggis before the Manhattan Supreme Court.

Haggis said he made $22 to $25 million in show business, but he only had a few hundred thousand dollars left.

Haggis, 69, testified that throughout his career as a writer, producer and director of TV shows and films – including his work on blockbusters including the James Bond films starring Daniel Craig and one of the ‘Terminator’ films – has earned between $22 million and $25 million since the 1980s.

But between paying millions in legal fees to fight the lawsuit, paying huge sums to the Church of Scientology, giving up half his fortune in two divorces, and a series of poor financial decisions, Haggis probably has only “a few hundred thousand” left his name, he said.

The Million Dollar Baby screenwriter said a majority of his TV and film earnings went to his two ex-wives, who each received half of his earnings since their marriage — plus alimony and real estate.

The former Scientologist also said he paid approximately $2 million to the church during his more than 30-year membership.

Haggis said he made bad real estate investments in Florida homes where he lost money, and then another $2 million went down the drain in the 2008 stock market crash. He also lost a $4 million home in California to an earthquake for which he had no earthquake insurance.

Haleigh Breest enters the courtroom.

Haleigh Breest was awarded $7.5 million in compensatory damages and now a jury will determine how much punitive damages she will be awarded.

Haleigh Breest at the Manhattan Supreme Court.

Breest accused Haggis of raping her at his Soho apartment on January 31, 2013.

Since Breest filed her lawsuit, Haggis said he has paid $2.67 million in legal fees to four different law firms and still owes well over $500,000 in legal fees — while fighting under the dark cloud of rape allegations get a job in Hollywood.

The filmmaker said he’s had to “save down” to afford legal fees since the lawsuit, even cutting back on small things like canceling his cable and streaming subscriptions and using his daughter’s Netflix account instead.

Haggis said he “cannibalized” his retirement savings, borrowed $1million from his ex-wife to pay legal fees and had two liens on his Mercer Street apartment – where Breest says she raped was – who he shares confidence with his four children.

Haggis claimed he tried to sell the condo in 2019 but took it off the market because he would only receive offers that were less than the $2.9 million he paid for it in 2006.

And even if he did sell it, he would have no money left after paying off his debt — without the jury awards for Breest, he testified.

When asked what his net worth is today, Haggis replied, “A few hundred thousand. Maybe. Maybe not.”

Haggis also testified that he doesn’t expect to make a sizeable Hollywood salary again until “I cleared my name.”

Breest’s attorney, Zoe Salzman, told jurors early Monday that “evidence will again show that the defendant is not being honest with you.”

“Like other people with assets, he’s adept at hiding them,” Salzman said.

Haggis took the stand for the second time after testifying for three days during the main phase of the trial to determine whether he was liable for rape.

He has claimed that the sexual encounter with Breest was consensual. Chaudhry said Thursday she did not believe her client received a fair trial.

Haggis’ side claimed that Scientology was behind Breest and four other women on sexual assault and rape allegations against him.

Scientology has claimed that it was not involved in the case, and Haggis’ side has admitted that there is no evidence linking Breest to Scientology. Paul Haggis says he’s too broke to pay rapist Haleigh Breest


JACLYN DIAZ is a USTimeToday U.S. News Reporter based in London. His focus is on U.S. politics and the environment. He has covered climate change extensively, as well as healthcare and crime. JACLYN DIAZ joined USTimeToday in 2023 from the Daily Express and previously worked for Chemist and Druggist and the Jewish Chronicle. He is a graduate of Cambridge University. Languages: English. You can get in touch with me by emailing

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