Denise Gentile, the twin sister of Scientology leader David Miscavige, was reportedly arrested earlier this year for marijuana possession.
The 52-year-old was pulled over on January 22 in St. Petersburg, Florida, after police found nine blunts in her car.
According to the Tampa Bay Times, the black Dodge Durango that Gentile was driving was parked near a known drug house that had been a problem for St. Petersburg police. Street cop Terrence Nemeth followed the car and stopped it after it nearly hit an ambulance. He asked Gentile if he could search the car, and she agreed. That’s when he found the marijuana, which Gentile said she didn’t know anything about. He reported that she smelled of alcohol and was slurring her words, and a Breathalyzer tests showed readings of 0.119 and 0.124.
Gentile was charged with misdemeanor marijuana possession, DUI, and failure to yield.
L. Ron Hubbard, the founder of Scientology, wrote, “The single most destructive element present in our current culture is drugs.” And the church treatise What Is Scientology states that members are “drug-free (none at all use illegal street drugs.)
Gentile pleaded not guilty to the charges, and hired criminal defense attorney Jo Ann Palchak, an associate at Zuckerman Spaeder, a firm the church has hired to represent it in court.
David Miscavige and the church declined to comment on his twin sister’s case.
“The church does not discuss Mr. Miscavige’s family as it would be inappropriate to do so,” spokeswoman Karin Pouw said.
Gentile and her husband, Gerald, own the “drug house” that she was seen leaving when she was arrested. The couple collected rent from tenants in four units, and “Miss Denise” stopped by nearly every month to collect. The house also turned into a party location, where strippers performed after midnight
Drug sales at the property got so bad that it was raided twice in 14 months. And even though Scientologists are supposed to persuade drug users to stop using, neither Gentile nor her husband ever said anything or even mentioned the word “Scientology.
Denise Gentile’s pretrial hearing is set for July 25.