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Paul Haggis Biography – Childhood, Family & Relationship

Paul Haggis Biography

Paul Haggis is a popular name in the entertainment business thanks to his work in projects such as Million Dollar Baby, Flags of Our Fathers, Quantum of Solace, Crash and Texas Ranger. He is a two-time Emmy Award and Academy Award winner who has also received seven Gemini Awards. Besides that Paul also gained notoriety due to the sexual misconduct allegations that were filed against him.

Well, having worked on some of the most popular movies and TV series and also facing legal troubles has led people to show much interest in Paul’s life. So, in this biography we will get to know more about Haggis’ childhood, family, relationship history, children and more.

Where Did Paul Haggis Grow Up?

The multi talented filmmaker was born Paul Edward Haggis in London, Ontario, Canada on 10th March, 1953. He was raised as a Catholic and grew up alongside his little sister, Jo Francis. Paul Haggis’ parents Edward Haggis aka Ted Haggis and Mary Yvonne Metcalf reportedly owned The Gallery Theatre in London. Also, his father was an Olympic sprinter and a World War II veteran.

Paul attended St. Thomas More Elementary School and then enrolled at Ridley College in St. Catharines. However, he got into bad behavior skipping his required Royal Canadian Army Cadets drills, reading radical magazines and breaking into the prefect’s office. Following this he was transferred to a progressive preparatory school in Muskoka Lakes.

Haggis went on to study art at the Ontario based H. B. Beal Secondary School after being inspired by Jean-Luc Godard and Alfred Hitchcock. He later studied cinematography at Fanshawe College but it is unclear if he graduated.

How Did Paul Haggis Find His Interest In Theatre And Movie Business?

The Ontario-born filmmaker’s first experience in the entertainment field was through his parent’s theater, The Gallery Theatre. He then studied under a CBC Radio One producer who allowed him to sit for a few of his works. Paul then found inspiration from two talented filmmakers, Alfred Hitchcock and Jean-Luc Godard.

Paul Haggis’ interest in the entertainment world continued on and he reportedly opened a theater to screen banned films such as Last Tango in Paris and The Devils in Toronto. He also aspired to be a fashion photographer after watching the 1966 movie Blowup and traveled to England. However, he came back to Canada, studied cinematography and then moved to Los Angeles to start his career as a writer.

What Projects Has Paul Haggis Worked On?

After moving to LA to start his writing career, the Ontario native began to work in television shows such as Plastic Man, Heathcliff, Richie Rich, The Fonz and the Happy Days Gang, The Love Boat, One Day at a Time and The Facts of Life.

With the latter project, Paul even got his first credit as a producer and executive producer. Following this, Haggis wrote for Thirtysomething, Nothing Is Easy, The Magical World of Disney while also producing few of these projects.

Throughout the 1990s, Paul created, wrote, and produced many successful television series such as Family Law, Due South, Michael Hayes, Walker, Texas Ranger, You Take the Kids and more. He also started his journey as a director working on a few of the aforementioned shows.

Then the 2000s saw Haggis turning his focus into films, having written the screenplay for and producing Crash, Million Dollar Baby, The Last Kiss, Casino Royale, Letters from Iwo Jima, Speechless, Quantum of Solace and more. He also directed a few of these movies and won back-to-back Best Picture category in Academy Awards for Million Dollar Baby and Crash.

The Canadian filmmaker continued on with his writing, producing and directing career working on not only feature films but also video games, short films and TV movies and series. He also has a few upcoming projects according to his IMDb profile. Well looking at his credits, it is no surprise that Paul Haggis’ net worth is estimated to be around $60 million.

How Many Children Does Paul Haggis Have?

Talking about the personal side of his life, the two times Academy Award winner is a father of four. He has three kids from his first marriage and one more from his second.

Paul Haggis’ children, Alissa Sullivan Haggis, Katy Haggis and Lauren Haggis are from his relationship with Diane Christine Gettas. He and Diane had been married for two decades between 1977 to 1997 and welcomed their three daughters.

Then, Haggis tied the knot with actress and producer Deborah Rennard in 1997 and they welcomed their son, James Haggis in 1998. Their relationship too did not fare well and Deborah and Paul divorced in May 2016.

All of Paul Haggis’ children have been involved in the film industry in some capacity. While some have followed in his footsteps and worked as a screenwriter, others have served in the music department. Nonetheless we wish all of the Haggis siblings best wishes for their future endeavors.

What Accusations Has Paul Haggis Faced?

While Paul Haggis has been a celebrated individual in the movie business for a long time, in December 2017 it was reported that a publicist named Haleigh Breest had filed a lawsuit against him regarding an alleged incident in 2013.

Following this, the filmmaker filed a countersuit claiming Haleigh intended to bankrupt him by extracting a settlement of $9 million and denied the allegations. Haggis’ suit was dismissed.

Following the initial accusation, three more women came forward with various accusations of sexual assault and misconduct against Paul Haggis. In July 2019 he was even ordered to provide a DNA sample as a part of the legal proceedings.

In November 2022, the Canadian filmmaker was found liable for the rape of Haleigh in a civil suit. He was ordered to pay her $7.5 millions with the juries ordering Haggis to pay additional $2.5 million in punitive damages on November 14.

Additionally, in June 2022, it was reported that Haggis was arrested in Ostuni, Italy over allegations of sexual assault. He was charged with aggravated personal injuries and aggravated sexual violence. He reportedly spent 16 days under house arrest before being released.

Moreover, the charges against the filmmaker were dismissed by the court on July 29, 2022.