Scientology’s Latest Legal Victory Over Leah Remini Could Leave Her Footing Their Legal Bill

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The ongoing legal battle between Leah Remini and the Church of Scientology has taken yet another dramatic turn, with Judge Randolph M. Hammock delivering a mixed ruling that gutted most of Remini’s 68-page lawsuit against the organization. The judge’s decision, which found certain documented attacks against Remini to be protected under the First Amendment, adds a layer of complexity to an already contentious legal feud — one that might leave Remini paying all of Scientology’s legal fees.

Judge Hammock’s ruling effectively knocked out a swath of Remini’s complaints, saying that a majority of the harassment Remini has experienced, while not pleasant, is technically not illegal. The judge’s remarks during a hearing back in January shed light on the intricacies of the ruling, as reported by Courthouse News. “None of these are actionable,” Hammock explained of the complaints, which included targeted websites and social media campaigns agains the former Scientologist. “They’re not very nice things to say about someone,” he said of the 12 years of documented harassment from Remini.

More from SheKnows

He further noted, “They usually demonstrate malice when you call someone names. We know she’s not a Nazi. You guys call her a Nazi. That’s fine. That’s your right under the First Amendment. I understand. She attacks you. You attack her.”

“This is a resounding victory for the Church and free speech,” the church stated. “Remini’s complaint was gutted.”

In addition to this, the Church of Scientology filed an anti-SLAPP motion, aiming to quickly dismiss the lawsuit, saying that they were simply fighting Remini’s “hate speech” with their own. Anti-SLAPP laws are designed to shield individuals, including journalists and public figures, from the chilling effects of litigation aimed at stifling free speech. This legal concept is a potent tool meant to safeguard against attempts to silence critics through the burden of legal costs.

When such a motion is filed and successful, the plaintiff may be responsible for the defendant’s legal fees. In Remini’s case, if the Church of Scientology’s anti-SLAPP motion prevails, she might bear the burden of their substantial legal costs.

The implications of this ruling for both Remini and the Church of Scientology are significant, resonating beyond the confines of their legal dispute and raising broader questions about the balance between free expression and legal recourse in the face of powerful entities.

Before you go, click here to see celebrities who have left the Church of Scientology.

Celebrities Who Left the Church of Scientology / Laura Prepon
Celebrities Who Left the Church of Scientology / Laura Prepon

Best of SheKnows

Sign up for SheKnows' Newsletter. For the latest news, follow us on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.