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Judge dismisses parts of Leah Remini’s Scientology harassment lawsuit – National

A judge in the Los Angeles County Superior Court on Tuesday dismissed portions of Leah Remini‘s civil defamation and harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology, to which the actor formerly belonged.

In a lengthy, mixed ruling, Judge Randolph Hammock struck down significant portions of the lawsuit on the grounds of American First Amendment rights.

In the almost 40-page ruling, which was shared by Deadline, the judge threw out certain defamation claims under California’s anti-SLAPP statute, which protects free speech to do with matters of public interest.

Hammock’s ruling, however, still allowed for Remini’s allegations of stalking, harassment and surveillance by the church to proceed.

In a statement to Global News, the Church of Scientology called the judge’s decision to strike certain portions of the lawsuit a “victory in court against Leah Remini.”

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

The church said it will be pursuing lawyer’s fees from Remini, which they are entitled to apply for under the anti-SLAPP statute. Remini can also apply for lawyer’s fees, should she choose to.

Remini has not commented publicly on the mixed ruling.

Leah Remini’s Scientology lawsuit

Remini filed a lawsuit against the church and its leader, David Miscavige, in August 2023. She accused Scientology of using “mob-style operations and attacks” to harass her since she defected from the faith in 2013.

The lawsuit is seeking unspecified damages for the harm she claims Scientology inflicted on her and her career.

When Remini initially filed her lawsuit, the church called the allegations “pure lunacy” and accused Remini of “spreading falsehoods and hate speech.”

What was removed from Leah Remini’s lawsuit?

Remini’s lawsuit claims she is the victim of Scientology’s “Fair Game” tactics, which makes her an open target for harassment, both online and in-person.

In the past, the church has created a website disparaging Remini in over 10 different articles that call her everything from a “bigot” to “racist” and “pro-rape.”

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The judge called these instances, as well as others, “parody,” namely when Scientology circulated doctored photos of Remini wearing an “I (heart) rapists” T-shirt after she testified in the 2022 rape trial of director Paul Haggis.

Click to play video: 'Leah Remini defends director Paul Haggis amid sexual assault allegations'

Leah Remini defends director Paul Haggis amid sexual assault allegations

Hammock said the online posts, “while highly offensive and inappropriate, can only be deemed parody.”

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“No one viewing those statements could take them literally,” he wrote.

Judge Hammock determined the church’s comments about Remini are fair under free speech laws because Scientology is “a high-profile entity speaking on a high-profile figure.”

The judge said both Remini and the church were “responsive to, or provoked by,” one another’s verbal attacks.

“When viewed in context, the First Amended Complaint plainly demonstrates that the alleged statements Defendants made about Plaintiff online implicate a broader public dispute over Plaintiff’s relationship with Scientology,” the judge wrote in his ruling. “The online posts are themselves a part of the public’s interest in Plaintiff and Scientology.”

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What is still permitted in Leah Remini’s lawsuit?

Some of Remini’s defamation claims still stand.

These allegations include Scientology-made statements that Remini was verbally abusive to her own daughter, that she “ransacked” her grandmother’s apartment and that Remini refused to pay for her father’s cancer treatments.

Remini may also still present to the court her claims that she is being stalked by Scientology operatives. These allegations include reports that an unknown person drove their car into the gates of her neighbourhood community and smashed her mailbox with a hammer in an attempt to steal her mail.

Scientology attempted to argue that any surveillance of Remini was completed as a sanctioned “pre-litigation” activity, though the judge did not agree.

“The court sees no public interest in the surveillance of private citizens — even celebrities — under an unsupported suspicion that litigation may occur at some later time,” Hammock wrote.

Remini’s tortious interference allegations were also permitted.

The actor alleged members of the church repeatedly harassed several colleagues and interfered in her employment contracts. Remini claimed Scientology operatives harassed employees of iHeartMedia and the distribution platform AudioBoom, both of which handled her podcast Scientology: Fair Game, until the companies ended her contract.

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Remini’s lawsuit against the Church of Scientology is set to begin on Oct. 27, 2025.

Leah Remini, a ‘suppressive person’

Since leaving the church in 2013, Remini has been labelled a “suppressive person,” the name often given to defectors who, according to Scientology founder L. Ron Hubbard’s philosophy, seek to quash the betterment of a group, in this case the church.

Remini’s lawyers attempted to obtain a sweeping judicial order that would prevent the church from labelling people suppressive persons and making victims of “Fair Game” tactics. The judge turned down the order for Constitutional reasons, though noted the court “need not issue declarations simply telling parties to obey the law.”

After filing her initial lawsuit against the church last year, Remini said she experienced “continued, aggressive harassment.”

In September 2023, Remini amended her lawsuit and claimed the harassment against her has “escalated to a much greater degree than ever before.”

Remini said she, as well as her friends, family and professional colleagues, have all been targets of harassment, including alleged stalking and credit card fraud.

Regardless, Remini has continued her vocal criticism of Scientology. On Thursday, the actor asked her followers on X (formerly Twitter) to donate to The Aftermath Foundation, an organization that provides aid to Scientologists who want to leave the faith.

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Remini said the foundation was forced to remove an adversarial billboard after “threats and pressure tactics” from the church, despite the organization allegedly having a one-year contract for the billboard. (It hasn’t been confirmed that Scientology was responsible for the removed billboard.)

“Taking this billboard down is unacceptable and just another example of a major corporation caving to a dangerous totalitarian cult that is abusing its members daily as a matter of policy,” Remini wrote.

The King of Queens actor joined the Church of Scientology as a child in 1979 but left more than three decades later.

Since separating from Scientology, Remini has consistently criticized the religious organization and Miscavige for serious abuses of power.

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In 2016, she released the documentary series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which she produced and co-created. The series won three Emmy Awards.

Remini also said she was “relieved” to see “dangerous rapist” and noted celebrity Scientologist Danny Masterson sentenced to 30 years to life in prison for two counts of forcible rape.

Originally Published Here.

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