Church of Scientology fires back after Leah Remini sues, says she's 'horrible' and 'toxic' (2024)

Actor Leah Remini is taking her fight against the Church of Scientology to court with a new lawsuit alleging that the church and its current leader, David Miscavige, are behind years of “mob-style tactics” used against her in a targeted campaign of harassment.

But the church has refuted her allegations in an impassioned statement, characterizing the lawsuit as “ludicrous,” Remini as a “toxic person” and “anti-free speech bigot” and her latest call-out of the organization as “blatant harassment.”

In a 64-page lawsuit obtained by The Times and submitted Wednesday to a Los Angeles County Superior Court, Remini alleges she 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 “King of Queens” star, who left Scientology in 2013 after being a member since she was a child, issued a statement via her Substack on Wednesday, saying she was suing the church and Miscavige after enduring 17 years of the aforementioned allegations.


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“While advocating for victims of Scientology has significantly impacted my life and career, Scientology’s final objective of silencing me has not been achieved,” she wrote.

“While this lawsuit is about what Scientology has done to me, I am one of thousands of targets of Scientology over the past seven decades. People who share what they’ve experienced in Scientology, and those who tell their stories and advocate for them, should be free to do so without fearing retaliation from a cult with tax exemption and billions in assets.”

Remini’s suit alleges that Miscavige and Scientology have caused her severe 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 publicly voice her concerns over the church’s conduct.


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Remini’s suit further states that Scientology’s policies regarding what it refers to as “Suppressive Persons” — who are defined in the suit as attackers, merchants of chaos and anti-Scientologists — are “not religious doctrine.” The policies are instead described as old-school, “mob-style tactics” that have been “modernized, amplified, and weaponized by Scientology’s far-reaching network.”

In a statement to The Times, a spokesperson for the church accused the actor of “spreading falsehoods and hate speech” that had “generated threats of and actual violence against the Church and its members.”


“All the while, Remini has profited handsomely from her fabrications, through the sale of hate books, hate podcasts and paid-for tabloid hate television,” the statement said. “Now that Remini’s propaganda has been exposed, Remini has spun entirely out of control by filing a frivolous lawsuit attempting to stop free speech exposing her false propaganda. Remini’s decade of harassment and fabrications are all coming back to haunt her.”

The statement said that she only had herself to blame if she was unable to get a job and referred to her as “horrible” and “toxic to so many who have the misfortune to come in contact with her.”

Remini’s lawsuit seeks a trial by jury to determine compensatory and punitive damages for the targeted campaign she says she has endured for more than a decade.

“The press has a right to report about Scientology without facing a sophisticated intelligence operation from Scientology to destroy their personal lives and their careers. Law enforcement authorities have a right to investigate crimes in Scientology without fear that they will lose their jobs,” Remini continued in her statement.


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“With this lawsuit, I hope to protect the rights afforded to them and me by the Constitution of the United States to speak the truth and report the facts about Scientology without fear of vicious and vindictive retribution, of which most have no way to fight back.”

The former Scientologist, who has spoken out against the church since 2013, filed a missing persons report for Shelly Miscavige, the wife of the church’s leader, shortly after her exit.


Shelly Miscavige was notably not in attendance when actors Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes tied the knot in 2006, and has not been seen in public since her father’s funeral in August 2007. According to Remini, that long absence was the catalyst for her own departure from the organization, and the “Second Act” actor devoted much of her A&E series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” to discussing the seemingly murky details surrounding Shelly Miscavige’s whereabouts.

The Los Angeles Police Department investigated her alleged disappearance but closed the case the same year it was filed, saying the agency had had “a face-to-face with Shelly.” According to TMZ, the LAPD didn’t indicate whether she was being held against her will.

In November 2022, Remini published a viral Twitter thread alleging that the LAPD division assigned to the missing person case was headed by a captain who was in cahoots with the Church of Scientology.

The Los Angeles Police Department responded to Remini’s claims in a statement published on its website:

“The Los Angeles Police Department is aware of public assertions recently made by Leah Remini regarding a missing person investigation involving Shelly Miscavige.”

“In 2014, Los Angeles Police Department detectives assigned to the Missing Persons Unit (MPU) went to Shelly Miscavige’s location and personally made contact with her and her attorney. Detectives found her to be alive and safe, and subsequently closed the missing persons investigation.


“The Missing Persons Unit handles adult missing cases throughout the City of Los Angeles and work out of LAPD’s Detective Bureau. This case was not investigated by Hollywood Division personnel and had no involvement by retired LAPD Commander [Cory] Palka.”

A full copy of the complaint is linked here:

— Leah Remini (@LeahRemini) August 2, 2023

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Church of Scientology fires back after Leah Remini sues, says she's 'horrible' and 'toxic' (2024)
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