Leah Remini Sues Scientology For Harassment; Seeks To End Churchs Alleged Suppressive Persons Retribution Polices
Just days before a critical pre-sentencing hearing for convicted rapist and prominent Scientologist Danny Masterson is scheduled to take place in downtown LA, the Church finds itself back in court.
Leah Remini today filed a blistering complaint in LA Superior Court against the L. Ron Hubbard created organization and its leader David Miscavige.
Citing years of attacks, the multi-claim filing alleges Scientology harassed and defamed the high-profile former Church member and King of Queens star. The complaint seeks unspecified damages. Remini also is looking for injunctive relief “to end Scientology’s policies against Suppressive Persons so that current and former Scientologists, and others who wish to expose Scientology’s abuses, including journalists and advocates, may feel free to hold Scientology accountable without the fear that they will be threatened into silence” (read it here).
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“This lawsuit does not challenge Scientology’s ability to defend itself through legal means,” Remini’s Florida-based Edwards Henderson Lehrman and her South Carolina-set Motley Rice LLC attorneys add. The Church of Scientology did not respond to request for comment Wednesday from Deadline on Remini’s suit, which the actor unveiled online earlier today.
In the jury trial seeking complaint, critical ex-Church member and Emmy winning Scientology and the Aftermath host Remini details in terms familiar to those who have followed similar suits against Scientology how she has been allegedly targeted by the organization and its affilaties since leaving in 2013:
For the past ten years, Ms. Remini has been stalked, surveilled, harassed, threatened, intimidated, and, moreover, has been the victim of intentional malicious and fraudulent rumors via hundreds of Scientology-controlled and -coordinated social media accounts that exist solely to intimidate and spread misinformation. Scientology has elevated the reach of some of these posts by using its tax-exempt funds to pay social media companies like Twitter to “promote” these posts. By paying to promote these posts and elevate them on Twitter, Defendants demonstrate that these posts are not the work of a rogue Scientologist, but part of a coordinated campaign to follow long held policy and destroy Ms. Remini. Defendants have also incessantly harassed, threatened, intimidated, and embarrassed Ms. Remini’s family members, friends, colleagues, and business associates, causing her to lose personal relationships, business contracts, and other business opportunities.
Defendants have caused Ms. Remini significant and ongoing economic harm and have forced her to endure a new but never-normal life in which Scientology’s surveillance, abuse, and lies are the punishing, inescapable, daily cost of exercising her First Amendment right and moral duty to speak out about Scientology’s conduct. Scientology’s policies regarding Suppressive Persons and Fair Game are not religious doctrine; they are old-school, mob-style tactics, modernized, amplified, and weaponized by Scientology’s far-reaching network, which goes beyond just social media.
Remini’s suit echoes the still on-going civil action filed in 2019 by several Jane Does in Masterson’s criminal case. Set to restart in the coming months once the That 70’s Show actor is formally sentenced for what could be 30 years behind bars in early September, that much-delayed previous civil matter also claims harassment and more by Masterson and Scientology after the now-plaintiffs and their families went to the LAPD over the sexual assault incidents. All of the trio of Jane Does in Masterson’s criminal case and the civic case, which Scientology unsuccessfully tried to get the Supreme Court to defang, are former members of the Church.
Not a defendant in Masterson’s rape trials, the Church and its policies were brought up again and again in the matter, as was its deep relationships with members of the legal and law enforcement communities
During Masterson’s rape retrial earlier this year, Remini was served a subpoena by the defense on the opening day because they sought to unsuccessfully have the potential witness excluded from the proceedings. While sitting in on a number of days of arguments and testimony, Remini was never called to take the stand in the case.
Today’s filing pulls back the veil on what Remini and others over the years have alleged is the coordinated effort by the Church to taint and soil its critics, especially former members, like Remini and Crash director Paul Haggis, and journalists
In addition to websites created by Defendants and its employees, there are hundreds of Scientology-run Twitter accounts that are actively tweeting daily misinformation about Ms. Remini in furtherance of the Suppressive Person and OSA operations and attacks that Defendants are deploying against her. Based upon information and belief, these individuals create Twitter accounts for the purpose of harassing Ms. Remini and other whistleblowers and advocates who have been deemed Suppressive Persons or attackers of Scientology, buy followers on social media, follow each other’s accounts, and coordinate their attacks on Ms. Remini.
For instance, since 2017, @standmonitor, created and run by Defendants, has posted thousands of malicious and harassing tweets about Ms. Remini. In March 2023 alone, they have posted over 247 tweets aimed at Ms. Remini, includes dozens of photoshopped images of Ms. Remini in “I love rapists” apparel with similar fraudulent messages purporting to show Ms. Remini’s support of rapists under the hashtag, #ReminiLovesRapists.
We will update this post if and when the Church of Scientology issues a response to Remini’s lawsuit.
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