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He had a dazzling career directing Oscar-winning blockbuster movies, pocketing millions while working with the stars of Hollywood.
But James Bond screenwriter Paul Haggis, who estimated he made $25million during his career, now claims he is broke and is worth just $500,000.
After being found liable for rape in a civil trial and ordered to pay $10 million last week, Haggis said he couldn’t afford the payout – and claimed he is so broke he piggybacks on his daughters’ Hulu and Netflix accounts.
But it can be revealed that a sensational fightback is underway from Haggis’ camp.
A small team of well-wishers in the film business will bankroll the 69-year-old as he appeals the decision.
The anonymous group, ‘who have money’ and are convinced of his innocence, will fund his legal action because Haggis says that the rape allegations have financially wiped him out.
Double Oscar-winner Paul Haggis, who estimated he made $25million during his career, now claims he is broke and is worth just $500,000.
A jury in a civil court trial ordered Paul Haggis (pictured, center), 69, to pay at least $7.5 million to Haleigh Breest (right), who accused him of rape
Haggis himself – who has worked on blockbuster movies including Crash, Casino Royale and Million Dollar Baby – has vowed to ‘die trying to clear his name’.
But lawyers for his accuser Haleigh Breest have branded the Hollywood writing legend as a ‘liar’ – saying: ‘Nothing Paul Haggis says can be trusted.’
In fact, attorney Ilann Maazel told the jury that Haggis has publicly ‘bragged’ about hiding his significant assets, estimating the filmmaker currently has more than $3 million in his accounts.
Lawyer Zoe Salzman added that he is ‘skilled’ at hiding his assets, while the man himself said: ‘I’m not an accountant. I don’t know how you calculate net worth.’
But his legal team strenuously deny claims he is hiding his money – as well as the allegations of rape against him.
Attorney Priya Chaudhry said: ‘People who have known Paul for decades – especially those who were in the courtroom and saw the evidence – know that the allegations against him are lies and the verdict was not based on the facts.
‘These people have vowed to support Paul with his appeal.’
Legal sources claim that Haggis did not get a fair trial because of a jury that had been ‘woke-washed’ by the #MeToo movement.
‘You just say: ‘Hollywood, Weinstein, #MeToo’ and the jury is ready to find you guilty,’ said the source.
‘It’s a “believe all women” environment and down with the old, without regard to the evidence… this is a chilling situation. Every man who has money in Hollywood should be expecting a legal letter.’
There seems little prospect of him handing over money to Breest, who claimed he forced her into oral sex after she came to his apartment to drink wine after a party in 2013.
Haggis said that the encounter with Breest was consensual. He said that he had found her ‘adorable’ and ‘kitten-ish’. He said that she had flirted with him like ‘Jessica Rabbit’ and told him that she was ‘very good’ at giving oral sex.
So what is the truth about multi-Oscar winner Paul Haggis’s finances? Where did the money go? DailyMail.com has forensically analyzed the James Bond writer’s finances to pinpoint his change in fortune.
Breest (left) appeared shocked when she heard the jury find Haggis guilty of four counts of rape. Haggis, meanwhile, remained silent after the jury read its verdict (right)
$25 million down the drain? Divorces, taxes and bad investments…
During the trial, Haggis estimated that during his four decades in TV and movies, he had made as much as $25 million – before taxes, agents’ and other representatives’ fees, and asset splits with his two ex-wives.
Plus, a ‘stupid amount’ to Scientology.
Haggis worked on household name shows The Love Boat, Three’s Company, Diff’rent Strokes and The Facts of Life. He told the court: ‘I made a very good living as a very bad writer for many, many years.’
But he broke through to another strata when hired to write for the prestige ’90s lifestyle drama Thirtysomething before his focus turned to movies.
Haggis, pictured in 2007 with his then-wife Deborah Rennard and their son James at the premiere of Warner Independent Picture’s ‘In the Valley of Elah’
In court, he estimated his career earnings to have been around $25 million. Specifically, he earned $1.5million for his work as a screenwriter on the James Bond movie Casino Royale – $250,000-a-week for six weeks of work.
He also said he was paid $1 million for the Sons of Thunder spin-off series in 1999.
But, according to Haggis, a series of financial losses, topped by legal bills of $2.6 million for his defense in the Breest lawsuit – and a career that abruptly dried up – wiped him out.
He said he had emptied his entire retirement fund, was forced to borrow $1 million from one of his ex-wives and owes $500,000 in legal fees.
He claimed he was so broke in court that he had been reduced to using his daughter’s Netflix password and canceled his Hulu and cable.
In a bid to prove he’s penniless, he submitted ten years of tax returns to the court, plus full financial statements since 2018.
Haggis had three daughters (L-R) Alissa, Lauren and Katy, with his first wife Diane Gettas and spent nine years locked in a bitter custody battle with her
$2 million: ‘Donations’ to the Church of Scientology over 30 years
Haggis claims he paid as much as $2 million over 30 years to the Church of Scientology.
It is estimated that undergoing the coursework for the church cost nearly $300,000 in 2011, and additional auditing and contributions expected of upper-level members exceed half a million dollars.
Haggis and his first wife Diane Gettas became involved in the church when they had relationship issues. He ended up becoming one of its more prominent and high-ranking members.
He eventually left the church in 2009 over its refusal to condemn one chapter’s statement of support for Proposition 8, a California ballot measure to de-legalize gay marriage. Two of Haggis’s four children are gay.
Meanwhile, sources close to Haggis claim – sensationally – that the Scientology religion intimidated Haggis, a former Scientologist, and his family during the trial.
He said during the trial that he had forked out more than $2 million to Scientology and undergone hundreds of hours of ‘auditing’. He left the church in 2009 in protest over its stance on homosexuality.
Sources close to Haggis said this week that Scientology’s notorious former chief spokesman Tommy Davis showed up in New York during the closing stages of the trial and ‘bumped into’ the Haggis family and legal team.
His team was so paranoid that they twice swept their building for bugs during the trial, which saw his victim’s legal team use the testimonies of four additional women, all of whom accused the filmmaker of assault, to demonstrate that his alleged rape of Breest followed a pattern of behavior.
Sources close to Haggis said this week that Scientology’s notorious former chief spokesman Tommy Davis showed up in New York during the closing stages of the trial and ‘bumped into’ the Haggis family and legal team
$3 million: Divorces from Deborah Rennand and Diane Gettas
By the time they divorced in 1994, Haggis and Diane Gettas shared three daughters and spent nine years in a vicious custody battle over the girls.
The exact amount he was forced to fork out to his ex-wife is unclear, but the couple spent thousands on the court battle. At the same time, Haggis paid for the girls to attend boarding school.
When divorcing Gettas he reportedly forfeited more than half of his net worth on top of the expensive legal fees, which are thought to have been around $1 million at the time of their split.
It is thought that his first divorce and the ongoing legal proceedings could have cost him as much as $1.2million.
Haggis also changed the name of his personal service company from Paul Haggis, Inc. to Heretic Films ‘to have clean books’ – and a separate entity where he doesn’t have to keep paying a remainder to Gettas.
After the 2016 split from Deborah Rennard, who he met through Scientology, a court ruled that he had to pay her 20 percent of any amount exceeding $1.2million of his annual income.
Haggis was forced to borrow $1 million from his ex-wife Deborah Rennard six months ago to help out with his legal fees (pictured together at the 2007 Academy Awards nominees luncheon)
It is unclear exactly how much he made in the following six years before Breest made her allegations which he claims dried up his work.
Haggis was ordered to pay Rennard $20,000 per month and an additional $5,000 in child support while their son was still in education – as well as paying for his high school and college fees.
Over the past six years, it would mean that he forked out at least $1.8million to his ex-wife, not including the education fees for his son.
He kept one of their two New York SoHo apartments and three Florida properties.
Haggis’ son James hugging his mother Deborah Rennard, Haggis’s ex-wife
His ex-wife Deborah Rennard testified: ‘I know of no reputation with him regarding women. He had great relationships with women. I never heard of anything negative’
$1.8 million: Legal fees ‘gutted’ Haggis’s retirement fund – and now he piggybacks on his daughter’s Netflix account
Breest’s attorney Ilann Maazel told the jury that Haggis had publicly ‘bragged’ about hiding his substantial assets – claiming that the filmmaker has more than $3 million in his personal accounts.
However, Haggis denied this, saying his total net worth is less than $500,000 – and he still owes his lawyers thousands in legal fees.
Haggis admitted to the court that he had to cancel his cable and use one of his daughter’s Netflix account. (pictured with daughter Lauren haggis at the opening night of the Broadway play ‘Red’ at the Golden Theatre, New York City)
The Oscar-winning director paid his lawyers $1.8million to defend him against the civil lawsuit.
He had an arrangement with his team that he would have to pay them double if he failed to make his payments on time.
The court heard that he currently owes them more than $500,000 in legal fees, and was forced to borrow $1 million from his ex-wife Deborah Rennard six months ago to help out.
He told the court: ‘I basically emptied my retirement account and just sold everything I could and then cut back.
‘This is going to sound ridiculous — I canceled my cable, I canceled my Hulu, I use my daughter’s HBO, I use my other daughter’s Netflix.’
Upon trying to sell his apartment in 2019 to generate cash he took it off the market after receiving offers that were less than the $2.9million he purchased it for in 2006.
He also admitted to using his other daughter’s HBO account after being put into financial difficulty. (Pictured with lauren at the Directors Guild Awards 2016)
Director Paul Haggis with his daughter Alissa (L) and wife Deborah (R) attend the Lions Gate “Crash” Oscar Bash held at the Chateau Marmont on March 5, 2006 in Hollywood
$2 million: ‘Bad’ investments, property and the 2008 crash
During the court case, he claimed that he also made several ‘bad property investments’ and lost money on homes in Florida.
When he split with his second wife Deborah Rennard in 2016, he still owned three properties in Florida, though it is unclear if or when he sold them.
During the stock market crash, most average properties lost nearly $100,000 on average off of their price tag.
Haggis sold two properties in Bellefair, Florida in 2016.
One, purchased for $145,000 in 2002 was sold for $155,000. The second, bought for $41,000 in 2009, was sold for $75,000.
Haggis bought a property in Bellefair, Florida, for $41,000 in 2009, was sold for $75,000
He bought a similar property seven years prior for $145,000 in 2002 was sold for $155,000
In 2022 he sold a Pinellas County property for $350,000 after buying it for $176,000 in 2009.
Haggis also got part of a $1.3 million 2022 sale of a property in North Hollywood that he purchased for $594,000 in 2013.
In May 2012, the couple took a loss when they sold a small condo in Chicago for $191,500 that they picked up in June 2006, for $242,000.
They sold their Santa Monica home in 2012 for $5.25 million after their split, after paying $2.618 million for the property 12 years earlier.
During the court case, he claimed that he also made several ‘bad property investments’ and lost money on homes in Florida
In August 2008, they coughed up $2,365,000 for a 2,262 square-foot, single-story ranch-style residence that he sold in July 2010 at a considerable loss for $2,000,000.
Haggis sold his 2,948 square-foot condo at 388 West Broadway for 5.5million, which was listed for $6 million in September of 2019 – a year after he was accused of rape and sexual misconduct.
He bought the property in 2010 for $3.95 million.
Haggis and Rennard coughed up $2,365,000 for a 2,262 square-foot, single-story ranch-style residence in 2008 that he sold in July 2010 at a considerable loss for $2,000,000
The director sold his 2,948 square-foot condo at 388 West Broadway for 5.5million, which was listed for $6 million in September of 2019
$4 million: Pacific Palisades home that had to be demolished after 1994 earthquake
The filmmaker claimed a January 1994 earthquake and landslide caused irreparable damage to his Pacific Palisades coastal bluff home, costing him just under $4 million.
The property, bought for $2.69 million in 1991 had to be rebuilt. Haggis launched a lawsuit seeking compensation from the City of Los Angeles, after failing to take out earthquake insurance for the property.
The massive landslide which followed the Northridge earthquake not only caused severe damage to the home and other improvements on the property, but it also destroyed the stability of the ground beneath those improvements, impaired the use of the property, and destroyed its value and marketability`
In 1998, Haggis claimed his losses exceeded $3.5million.
He sold the property ten years later, in 2008, for $2.75 million.
Haggis took the City of Los Angeles to court after the natural disaster, purchasing the property in 1991
Homes were destroyed after a massive landslide above the Pacific Coast Highway in the Pacific Palisades in 1994. (Pictured one of the properties destroyed)