Leah Remini is suing the Church of Scientology over alleged harassment, stalking, defamation, and the intentional infliction of emotional distress.
In a Substack post on Wednesday, the “King of Queens” actress revealed she filed a lawsuit on the same day against the church and its leader David Miscavige. The lawsuit, filed in a Superior Court in California, alleges the Church of Scientology used “old-school, mob-style tactics” on her and several others.
“I wanted to share some important news,” Remini wrote in a post on X, formerly known as Twitter. “After 17 years of harassment, intimidation, surveillance, and defamation, I am filing a lawsuit against Scientology and David Miscavige.”
I wanted to share some important news.
After 17 years of harassment, intimidation, surveillance, and defamation, I am filing a lawsuit against Scientology and David Miscavige.
While advocating for victims of Scientology has significantly impacted my life and career,…
— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) August 2, 2023
Remini, who had grown up in the Church of Scientology, has spoken out about her childhood in the church. In an interview with BuzzFeed, Remini said one of the main reasons she decided to leave the church was when she became a mother.
“For 17, years, Scientology and David Miscavige have subjected me to what I believe to be psychological torture, defamation, surveillance, harassment, and intimidation, significantly impacting my life and career,” Remini said in a press release on her Substack. “I believe I am not the first person targeted by Scientology and its operations, but I intend to be the last.”
In the lawsuit, Remini alleges that starting in 2006, after attending the wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes and questioning where Miscavige’s wife was, she was put through a program called Truth Rundown. The program is allegedly a “form of psychological torture” with the goal of rewriting “the target’s memories,” according to the lawsuit.
After being released and made to apologize not only to Miscavige, but to Cruise, Remini resigned from the church in 2013 and later filed a missing person’s report for Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, who “has not been seen in public for 17 years,” according to the lawsuit.
Upon leaving the church, Remini became a “public advocate for victims of Scientology,” according to the lawsuit. The lawsuit alleges that since leaving the church, Remini and her family, friends and associates became targets of “coordinated and malicious assaults” aimed at Remini.
Remini is seeking a “declaratory judgment” that the church has “violated the law,” for the church to “cease and desist its harassment, defamation, and other unlawful conduct and striking all Suppressive Person and Fair Game policies, directives and OSA Network Orders,” in addition to compensatory damages that are proven at trial, the lawsuit said.
“With this lawsuit, I hope to protect my rights as afforded by the Constitution of the United States to speak the truth and report the facts about Scientology,” Remini said in her press release. “I feel strongly that the banner of religious freedom does not give anyone license to intimidate, harass, and abuse those who exercise their First Amendment rights.”
The Church of Scientology told IJR in a statement that the “lawsuit is ludicrous and the allegations are pure lunacy,” adding that Remini “spreads hate and falsehoods for a decade and is now offended when people exercise their right to free speech, exposing her for what she is-an anti-free speech bigot.”
Remini’s complaints are “like an anti-Semite complaining about the Jewish Anti-Defamation League for exposing the anti-Semite’s bigotry and propaganda,” the statement from the church read.
The church added that it was “not intimidated by Remini’s latest act of blatant harassment and attempt to prevent truthful free speech,” adding that Remini should “consider emigrating to Russia” if she does not believe in free speech existing.
[8/5/2023, 11:48 a.m. EST] This story was updated with a response statement from the Church of Scientology after it was originally published.
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