Leah Remini sues Church of Scientology for alleged harassment and defamation

Leah Remini has launched legal action against the Church of Scientology.
Leah Remini has launched legal action against the Church of Scientology. Photo credit: Getty Images

Leah Remini has filed a wide-ranging lawsuit against the Church of Scientology for allegations including harassment, stalking and defamation.

The King of Queens actress, who has been an outspoken critic of the organisation since she left it in 2013, claimed in her lawsuit that she has been "stalked, surveilled, harassed, threatened, intimidated, and, moreover, has been the victim of intentional malicious and fraudulent rumors" to intimidate and silence her for the past 10 years.

The 53-year-old filed the complaint in Los Angeles Superior Court  against the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige and the Religious Technology Centre, which allegedly oversees policing operations and enacts punitive measures.

The complaint reads, "Defendants have caused Ms. Remini significant and ongoing 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 speak out about Scientology's conduct."

Remini is seeking unspecified damages and a court order requiring the defendants to "cease and desist its harassment, defamation, and other unlawful conduct". In addition to civil harassment, stalking and defamation, she is also suing for intentional infliction of emotional distress and intentional interference with prospective economic advantage.

In a statement, she 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."

Since she left the organisation, Remini has hosted a documentary series and podcast and released a book about her experiences there.

The Church of Scientology has yet to respond to Remini's lawsuit.