Leah Remini Sues Scientology and David Miscavige for Alleged Harassment, Intimidation and Defamation

Leah Remini filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige, saying she's faced "psychological harm" since leaving the organization in 2013.

By Lindsay Weinberg Aug 03, 2023 1:35 AMTags
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Leah Remini is accusing the Church of Scientology of threatening and harassing her since she left the organization a decade ago.

The Emmy winner filed a lawsuit Aug. 1 against the church and its leader, David Miscavige, alleging they created a "campaign to ruin and destroy the life and livelihood of Leah Remini" once she left.

"For the past ten years, Ms. Remini has been stalked, surveilled, harassed, threatened, intimidated," reads the Los Angeles lawsuit, obtained by E! News, "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 King of Queens actress was a Scientologist for 40 years before she left the church in 2013. Since then, she's become "an outspoken public advocate for victims of Scientology," per the suit.

The 53-year-old worked on the docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which featured stories of former members and ran A&E from 2016 to 2019.

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Ahead of her docuseries premiere, the religious group issued a statement on Remini, calling her a "spoiled entitled diva" who "conveniently rewrites in her revisionist history."

"She needs to move on with her life instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money and attention to appear relevant again," the message read in part. "She now regurgitates the tired myths the Church has repeatedly debunked, circulated by the same tiny clique of expelled former staffers bitter at having lost the positions they enjoyed before their malfeasance and unethical conduct were uncovered."

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Remini then co-hosted the podcast Fair Game from 2021 to 2022, aiming to "expose the terrible truth about scientology's Fair Game doctrine," which she alleged was made to "destroy anyone they label an enemy." (Scientology previously said that the "fair game" policy was cancelled in 1968, adding, "Church management never has and never would tolerate illegal or unethical actions to be committed in the Church's name.")

In her new lawsuit, Remini alleged the church and Miscavige of leveling "one of their most coordinated and malicious assaults" on her in retaliation of her advocacy work, causing "enormous economic and psychological harm."

Charles Sykes/Bravo

Among her claims, Remini accused the defendants of hiring private investigators to follow her, sending "disparaging and threatening letters" to those who promoted her book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology and sending a man to "stalk" her outside her Los Angeles home in 2020.

"This man rammed his car into the security gates of Ms. Remini's community and asked residents for Ms. Remini's address, saying he was waiting to get into her house," the lawsuit states. "Former Scientology operatives have acknowledged that Scientology has a practice of seeking our individuals with mental illness or who are homeless or addicted to drugs, and other vulnerable people in order to harass its enemies."

She also alleged in the lawsuit that the church and Miscavige organized a meeting of "Scientology celebrities and other Scientologists active in the entertainment industry" in 2018, during which they were "drilled on how to attack Ms. Remini's credibility, based on lies, using some talking points that Scientology wrote."

Remini is seeking compensatory and punitive damages for "severe emotional and mental distress."

E! News has reached out to the Church of Scientology and Miscavige for comment on the lawsuit but hasn't heard back.

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