May 24, 2024

Leah Remini Sues Church of Scientology for Harassment, Stalking

  • Leah Remini has filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige.
  • The “King of Queens” actress has accused the church of stalking, harassment, and defamation. 
  • Remini was a member of the church for decades, but cut ties with the organization in 2013.

Emmy award-winning actress and producer Leah Remini filed a lawsuit on Wednesday against the Church of Scientology, accusing the controversial religious organization of stalking, harassment, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress, among other charges. 

Remini was a member of the church for nearly four decades beginning from age 9, before she left the institution in 2013 and became a vocal opponent of the organization. 

In the bombshell 60-page lawsuit, filed in Los Angeles County Superior Court, Remini outlined a pattern of “coordinated and malicious assaults” she said she endured after her departure, including claims that she was abusive toward her mother and daughter and that she had made racist statements. 

According to the lawsuit, these claims were posted to dedicated websites by the church, intended to defame Remini.

Representatives for the Church of Scientology responded to Insider’s request for comment with a lengthy statement calling the allegations “pure lunacy” and referring to Remini herself as a “horrible person and toxic to so many who have the misfortune to come in contact with her.”

“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,” the statement read, in part. 

The “King of Queens” star alleged in the lawsuit that the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige had “undertaken a campaign to ruin and destroy” the 53-year-old’s “life and livelihood.”

The lawsuit says that for the last 10 years, 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.”

The suit also alleges that the Church of Scientology has “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.”

Attorneys for Remini alleged in the lawsuit that the church has caused her “significant and ongoing economic harm and “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.”

The actor’s attorneys alleged that her life has been “under constant threat and assault” by the defendants ever since she publicly cut ties with the church. 

Remini is seeking to recover “compensatory and punitive damages for the enormous economic and psychological harm” that she alleges the church inflicted on her and to “remediate the harm that has been caused, and to punish and deter Defendants from continuing their unlawful campaign of harassment and intimidation,” the lawsuit states. 

In a statement posted to her Substack account on Tuesday, Remini said: “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.”

“I believe I am not the first person targeted by Scientology and its operations, but I intend to be the last,” she wrote. 

Remini added, “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. 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.”

After splitting from the church in 2013, Remini gave other former Scientologists a platform with her A&E docuseries “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.”

August 3, 2023: This story has been updated with a statement from the church. 

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