Canadian director Paul Haggis has spoken out about the sexual assault allegations against him in a new interview.

Haggis, 69, gave his first interview regarding the claims to the Italian newspaper La Repubblica, Deadline reported.

The Oscar-winning movie-maker said, “My first mistake was allowing someone who I hardly knew to come and visit me. It was foolish. The second mistake was on the last morning after an incident occurred that I personally found particularly unpleasant, I decided to end this situation.

“I took this person to the airport hours before her flight. I’m upset with myself for these errors in judgment but cannot comprehend that they resulted in false and damaging accusations against me,” he went on, insisting he wasn’t guilty.

The reports emerged on June 19 after Haggis had been in Ostuni, a tourist town in Puglia, for a film festival.

At the time, the news agency LaPresse and several other Italian media outlets carried a written statement from prosecutors in the nearby city of Brindisi that they were investigating allegations a “young foreign woman” was forced to have “non-consensual” sexual relations over two days.

According to Deadline, Haggis was initially placed under house arrest in a hotel in Ostuni for two weeks. This has since been lifted but he has to stay in Italy until the investigation is complete.

A final decision on whether the case will go to trial is expected in the coming weeks.

READ MORE: Paul Haggis Drops Appeal In Case Against Sexual Assault Allegations

Haggis continued in the new interview, “There are some things that I cannot understand, like how it’s possible that in your country you can start and continue a trial even when the accusation is not corroborated by clear evidence. It seems strange and unjust to me that innocent people can apparently be prosecuted for years.

“My attorneys explained to me that in Italy, a trial could last many years. I can’t even imagine the damage that kind of prosecution could cause to my family and my ability to provide for them,” he added.

La Repubblica also mentioned the 2017 accusations against Haggis in the U.S. and the civil lawsuit that he’s facing in New York after events publicist Haleigh Breest accused him of raping her back in 2013.

Haggis said, “I am still bound by the court order I signed almost five years ago and cannot reveal any evidence or information I have learned.

“The woman in the United States did not make a criminal complaint against me; she demanded nine million dollars from me to keep silent, about a consensual one-night encounter we had five years earlier.”

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