Continuing his long record of defending sexual predators, blogger Tony Ortega went silent again as his friend and associate, rapist Paul Haggis, hit the latest snag in trying to get out of paying the $10 million judgment he owes to the woman he raped.
Haggis has repeatedly claimed he has no funds to pay the judgment or associated millions in attorney fees. But a Manhattan judge ruled on June 2 that the lawyers for the victim, Haleigh Breest, may collect the judgment from Haggis’ ex-wife, after making a prima facie showing that Haggis’ recent history of transfers of property to his ex-wife constitutes a fraudulent conveyance.
The silence speaks loudly, considering that throughout Haggis’ rape accusations, Ortega repeatedly and vociferously defended his friend and attempted to discredit his victims.
In December 2017, during the height of the #MeToo movement, young publicist Haleigh Breest in New York City sued Haggis, recounting the chilling details of his sexual assault of her in his Manhattan apartment in January 2013. Three more women then broke their silence in support of the suit, accusing Haggis of sexual assault, including another rape. Several months later, a fourth woman came forward. Then in June 2022, Haggis was arrested in Italy when a fifth woman claimed, “He raped me for days.”
Ortega promoted Haggis’ defense over and over, shaming his accusers and repeating Haggis’ desperate fiction that the Church of Scientology was somehow behind the claims against the accused rapist.
Ortega, Haggis and partners Leah Remini and Mike Rinder went so far as to concoct a series with a TV reporter cohort in Australia on the conspiracy theory that was so outrageously false and defamatory, it was cancelled before its intended airing.
During Haggis’ rape trial, Haggis and his defense lawyers even conceded there was “no evidence” for the conspiracy claims, but that didn’t stop him, as anything goes when trying to defend the indefensible.
The six-man jury did not buy the conspiracy theory for a minute. On November 10, 2022, they found Haggis liable for rape and slapped him with payment of $7.5 million in compensatory damages to his victim.
Ortega, who had breathlessly defended Haggis and championed his fictitious conspiracy tales about the Church, gave one sentence to the decision in a blog on November 11. He skipped the additional jury award on November 15 of $2.5 million in punitive damages to Haggis’ victim, bringing the total award to $10 million.
Continuing his record as a defender of sexual predators, Ortega sought to protect his friend Haggis by posting his latest propaganda falsehood in March 2023 that the unanimous jury verdict that found Haggis had raped a young woman was a “settlement.”
And not a single word from Ortega that same month when the court ordered Haggis to pay his victim’s legal fees totaling $2.8 million.
Tony Ortega’s silence is complicity in what Ortega does best as a propagandist blogger who excels in bigotry and hate.