Paul Haggis Rape Trial: Leah Remini to Testify as Character Witness on Defense’s Behalf

Photo Call For STX Films' "Second Act" - Credit: FilmMagic
Photo Call For STX Films' "Second Act" - Credit: FilmMagic

A judge ruled at Paul Haggis’ rape lawsuit trial that the defense could call on Leah Remini — who, like Haggis, is a former Scientologist — to testify as a character witness.

Before the trial started in Oct., it was reported that the actress and perhaps the Church’s most high-profile critic could be a potential witness for the defense. On Friday, the judge sided with the Haggis’ lawyers in allowing Remini to testify — over Zoom — in the trial’s coming days.

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Remini’s testimony would attempt to lend credence to Haggis’ claims that the rape lawsuit against him was perhaps orchestrated by the Church as revenge for him leaving Scientology; additionally, Haggis credited himself with helping Remini exit the Church, and she’s since gone on to host the docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath that shed a harsh light on the Church’s practices.

“Leah Remini would test principally about two topics,” Haggis’ lawyer Priya Chaudhry told the judge Friday (via The Daily Beast). “She is, if not number one and number two, enemies of Scientology and things they’ve done to her and the way that Scientology has done these things—her personal experience with the various tactics used to destroy her.”

Remini’s Scientology and the Aftermath co-host Mike Rinder, a former high-ranking Scientology executive, previously testified on Haggis’ behalf, saying that he, Haggis, and Remini were Scientology’s three biggest targets.

Remini and Rinder previously said in a statement, “We expect the next ‘revelations’ about Paul Haggis in this campaign to destroy him to be based on information culled from his Scientology files in the form of more ‘anonymous’ accusers, hiding behind a lawyer who will never have to disclose who is paying their bill.”

Remini has also played an ancillary role in the Danny Masterson rape trial as her lengthy Twitter thread about the Church of Scientology’s stance disallowing members from reporting sexual assaults perpetrated by other Scientologists was used as evidence by the defense that Masterson could not get a fair trial. The judge in that case rejected that argument.

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