Leah Remini has stepped up her years-long battle against the Church of Scientology.
The actress filed a lawsuit on Wednesday in a Los Angeles superior court against the church and its current leader, David Miscavige. Remini made the announcement in a statement on Substack.
“After 17 years of harassment, intimidation, surveillance, and defamation, I am filing a lawsuit against Scientology and David Miscavige,” she wrote.
The point of the lawsuit is to require the church “and any entity it controls and funds, to cease and desist its alleged practice of harassment, defamation an other unlawful conduct against anyone who Scientology has labeled as an ‘enemy.'”
She’s also seeking compensation for what she claims “Scientology has inflicted on her and her career.”
The former “King of Queens” star further explained in her statement that speaking out against the church has impacted her personally and professionally, but she isn’t the only one.
“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 continued. “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.”
The lawsuit points this out by listing alleged actions made by the church’s Office of Special Affairs, formerly known as the Guardians Office.
According to the lawsuit, the office allegedly monitors “the activities of Scientologists and non-Scientologists” and seeks “revenge and retribution on anyone who has been declared an enemy of Scientology.”
The document cites OSA Network Orders, which are claimed to be “a series of directives from Scientology’s founder, the late L. Ron Hubbard.” These were allegedly used against any “individual, organization, business, or government entity that Scientology declares as an enemy.”
Per the lawsuit, any rules from Hubbard “cannot be changed.”
Remini touched on how many have shied away from the topic due to the church’s heavy influence, but she wants that to stop now.
“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,” she explained. “Children, mothers, fathers, aunts, and uncles have a right to request welfare checks on their family members without fear of an operation activated against them by Scientology for doing so. Those in the entertainment business should have a right to tell jokes and stories without facing an operation from Scientology which uses its resources in Hollywood to destroy their lives and careers.”
Remini has been speaking out against Scientology since leaving the organization in 2013 after being a member for almost 35 years.
She revealed her experiences in her 2015 memoir “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.” A year later she co-produced and hosted the A&E documentary “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath,” where she gave other former members to tell their stories.
In July 2020 she started cohosting the podcast “Scientology: Fair Game.”
“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,” she concluded in her statement.
The Church of Scientology issued a statement calling the lawsuit “ludacrious” and claiming that the allegations are “pure lunacy.”
“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. “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 organization claimed Remini’s criticisms have led to violence.
“Remini’s obsession with attacking her former religion, by spreading falsehoods and hate speech, has generated threats of and actual violence against the Church and its members as evidenced by multiple criminal convictions of individuals poisoned by Remini’s propaganda,” the statement continued. “All the while, Remini has profited handsomely from her fabrications, through the sale of hate books, hate podcasts and paid-for tabloid hate television.”
“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 church also addressed the professional impact the actress alleged in her lawsuit.
“If Remini can no longer get a job, she has nobody to blame but herself. Obviously everybody in Hollywood now knows what we already knew: That Remini is a horrible person and toxic to so many who have the misfortune to come in contact with her.”
The statement also mentioned how Remini had claimed the church had helped her.
“While Remini was in the Church, she had to restrain her antisocial traits. She said so herself—that Scientology was the only thing keeping her ‘monster’ at bay,” the church said. “The Church is not intimidated by Remini’s latest act of blatant harassment and attempt to prevent truthful free speech. If Remini does not believe in free speech, then she should consider emigrating to Russia.”