Leah Remini Sues Church of Scientology for Defamation, Harassment

The actress alleges the religious organization partook in a “series of retaliatory activities” against “enemies” of the church

Leah Remini
Leah Remini attends the 2019 IDA Documentary Awards at Paramount Pictures in Los Angeles (Credit: Jesse Grant/Getty Images)

Leah Remini has filed a lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, accusing the religious organization of defamation, stalking and harassment, according to court documents obtained by TheWrap.

Filed Wednesday in the Los Angeles Superior Court, the “King of Queens” actress alleges that after breaking from the church in 2013, the organization has “stalked, surveilled, harassed, threatened [and] intimidated” Remini, who has been “the victim of intentional malicious and fraudulent rumors.” She also says the church partook in a “series of retaliatory activities” against individuals and groups the religious organization considers “enemies.”

The filing names church director David Miscavige as a defendant, building on years of Remini’s public advocacy for former church members.

Representatives for the Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Remini released a statement via her official social media channels, seen below.

Remini was introduced to the church at age 13, five years after her mother joined, according to the lawsuit. In addition to being “deprived of a formal education of normal childhood,” Remini was forced to participate in conditioning “training sessions,” which “involved verbally, physically, and sexually abusive practices.”

In the 35 years that Remini was a member of Scientology, the actress also endured significant financial repercussions, logging over $5 million spent on the “so-called financial enlightenment” of Remini and her family and friends.

After resigning from Scientology in 2013, the suit alleges Miscavige and other defendants “began to level one of their most coordinated and malicious assaults” against Remini, which included enlisting dozens of former and current members — including her now deceased father, George Remini — to make false and defamatory statements against the actress, alleging that she was an abusive mother and a racist, among other things.

In the aftermath of releasing her memoir “Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology” in 2015, the suit alleges that the defendants surveilled Remini to an “intimidating” extent “that it made Ms. Remini fear for her physical safety.” Similar occurrences subsequently followed, with contributors on A&E documentary series “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” being stalked and harassed.

Ultimately, the suit alleges that the “decade-long, coordinated harassment” of Remini, as well as her friends, family and business acquaintances, has “caused severe emotional distress to Ms. Remini, has made her fear for her physical safety and that of her family, and has caused the loss of business opportunities.”

The Hollywood Reporter first reported the news.