Leah Remini Tries to Boost Paul Haggis’ Claim That He’s a ‘Victim’ of Scientology in Rape Lawsuit

Leah Remini Signs Copies Of Her Book "Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood And Scientology" - Credit: Debra L Rothenberg/WireImage/Getty
Leah Remini Signs Copies Of Her Book "Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood And Scientology" - Credit: Debra L Rothenberg/WireImage/Getty

Leah Remini attempted to boost Crash director Paul Haggis’ claim that the Church of Scientology is behind the rape allegation that’s landed him in New York civil court, Variety reports.

On Monday, Nov. 7, Remini testified, “Men and women who have been raped absolutely deserve justice. But in this case, it’s absolutely Paul who is the victim here.” Haggis was sued in 2017 by publicist Haleigh Breest, who accused the filmmaker of raping her and forcing her to perform oral sex on him in 2013.

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Both Remini and Haggis are former Scientologists, having spent decades in the church before leaving in 2013 and 2011, respectively. Remini, in particular, has become arguably the most prominent critic of the church, telling the court she was “probably at the top” of the church’s list of enemies. Haggis has also leveled criticisms at the church, appearing in the famous 2015 documentary, Going Clear: Scientology and the Prison of Belief.

Haggis has denied Breest’s allegation, claiming the encounter was consensual. His legal team has also suggested that his split from the Church of Scientology is the catalyst for Breest’s suit. Breest’s lawyer has rebuffed this claim in court, stating, “Scientology has nothing to do with this case.” The church itself has also denied having any role in the case.

Remini, meanwhile, first floated the theory that the Church of Scientology was behind the suit back in 2018. In court, she tried to back up this theory by highlighting the ways the church has gone after “every single person that has ever spoken out against Scientology.” (Mike Rinder, another former high-ranking Scientology executive and Remini’s co-host on the Scientology and the Aftermath podcast, also testified on Haggis’ behalf.)

In her own experience, Remini said she’s been subjected to “constant harassment and stalking” by church members, adding, “It’s a constant threat. It’s not something that has ended.” She also said the church has used lawsuits to financially target ex-Scientologists. And of their dirt-digging capabilities, Remini said they “gather anything they can to hurt you.”

Additionally, Remini served as a sort of character witness for Haggis. She said she knew the filmmaker as a “caring,” “warm,” and “funny” person and stating she never saw him act inappropriately or violently towards women.

But during the cross-examination, Breest’s lawyer, Zoe Salzman, tried to stress there was a lack of actual fact beneath Remini’s claims. She got Remini to admit she did not know what actually happened in Haggis’ apartment the night of the alleged rape and only knew “what Paul told me.” Salzman also asked Remini whether a person could “be both a former Scientologist and a rapist,” to which Remini replied, “Yes.”

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