An ex-Scientologist claims her work on Leah Remini’s A&E Series, Scientology and the Aftermath, made her a target by the religious organization, says The Hollywood Reporter.
The woman, who was unnamed in The Hollywood Reporter story, claims that after several attempts to leave the religious organization, she exited for the final time in 2017, where she then got a job working on Remini’s series. It was then the woman claims she was targeted for abuse by the church who spread what she says are false claims, including allegations of “sexual promiscuity” and alcoholism.
The Hollywood Reporter story claims that the woman followed the teachings of the church for 40 years, having been born and raised into the religious organization. She reportedly attempted to escape the organization in 2016 by hiding in the trunk of a car during the filming of a video to promote Scientology.
The Church of Scientology regularly films promotional videos for the religious organization, as claimed by ex-church members to Remini on the A&E series, as a way to show the positive influences they affect on their church community.
The woman claims she was convinced to return to the organization by her own father, a practicing Scientologist. It was then, she claims, she was forced to give positive statements regarding her experience within the religious organization, which were taped. After the final time she left Scientology, when she was already working with Remini, she alleges she was targeted in the media with false statements regarding her personal life and professional life.
“These publications were disseminated by Defendants with the intent to harass, intimidate, embarrass, humiliate, destroy and alarm Jane Doe in all aspects of her personal and professional life,” stated the woman’s attorney, Robert Thompson, in the legal filing.
Remini’s A&E series, Scientology and the Aftermath, where she works alongside former church official Mike Rinder, tells the stories of those who claim they have been negatively changed through their practicing of the controversial religion.
It did not state in The Hollywood Reporter if the woman had appeared on camera to tell her story on the A&E show.
Many of the claims made on the series throughout its three seasons by former practicing members of Scientology include forced manual labor, donating excesses of money to the church in order to climb the ladder of the religion’s hierarchy, smear campaigns, and being forced to “disconnect” from family and friends who are still in the religion — including their own children and parents — if they do leave.
The woman has made the following claims in the formal complaint towards the organization — false imprisonment, kidnapping, stalking, slander, intentional infliction of emotional distress, human trafficking, and labor code violations, per The Hollywood Reporter story. She is reportedly suing the Church of Scientology, its leader David Miscavige, and the church’s Religious Technology Center.
In response, the church claimed to THR they had not received the complaint filed by the woman. The church called the claims a “stunt” by Remini and those who work with her.
Remini has been an outspoken critic of the organization after leaving Scientology in 2015. She spoke to People Magazine regarding her experiences within the church, claiming she had been introduced to the religion by her mother at the age of eight and had been a member for 35 years before she exited along with her husband, Angelo Pagan, and mother, Vicki Marshall.
Scientology and the Aftermath airs on A&E. It has not been formally announced when and if the show will return to the network in the fall of 2019. The last regularly scheduled episode of the series aired in February of this year.