Leah Remini has come to the defence of fellow former Scientologist Paul Haggis, following allegations of rape and sexual assault.
Remini and Mike Rinder, who co-host the A&E network series Scientology and the Aftermath, posted an open letter on Rinder’s blog yesterday.
“Paul Haggis deserves, based on his record as a gentleman and humanitarian, to be judged when all the evidence has been taken under penalty of perjury in a court of law,” they wrote.
“Because claims of anonymous accusers who have NOT gone to law enforcement are not credible.
“There is plenty of reason to worry about defending anyone accused of sexual assault… but the fear of consequences for speaking our truth has not held us back in the past and isn’t about to start now.
“In this time of heightened awareness of sexual predators, it is easy to remain quiet when an injustice is being perpetrated for fear of being tarred as politically incorrect. But more important to us than being politically correct is standing up for what we believe is right.
“Like all of us, Paul Haggis is not perfect. Unlike a lot of us, he is truly a gentleman.”
Haggis has been accused by a former publicist, who has filed a civil lawsuit against the Crash and Million Dollar Baby director.
Three more women then came forward with further accusations.
His lawyers denied any wrongdoing on his behalf, and added in a statement: “Mr. Haggis also questions whether Scientology has any role here, which he notes has been attacking him for years with false accusations.”
Haggis left the church, which counts Tom Cruise and John Travolta among its members, in 2009 after 35 years, and has been a vocal critic of it ever since.
He recently appeared in an episode of Scientology and the Aftermath, and was also interviewed for Alex Gibney’s celebrated Scientology documentary Going Clear.