A lawsuit filed by Leah Remini on Wednesday against the Church of Scientology contains a number of disturbing allegations against the organization, its practices and high-ranking members.
Along with claims Remini’s been “stalked, surveilled, harassed, threatened, intimidated” and is the victim of “intentional malicious and fraudulent rumors” on the internet, the 60-page document made multiple mentions of Tom Cruise as the actress says her life as a Scientologist changed after his 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes. Remini, who labels Cruise as “essentially second in command” in the church, is also suing leader, David Miscavige. (The Church of Scientology did not respond to Yahoo Entertainment’s request for comment, but has previously denied Remini’s many accusations against the organization.)
Here are the seven biggest bombshell’s from Remini’s lawsuit.
1. Remini filed an internal report after TomKat’s wedding — and it’s a “high crime” to “criticize” the actor “in any way”
Remini believes her status within the church changed after Cruise’s 2006 wedding to Katie Holmes. In the lawsuit, the actress refers to the Top Gun: Maverick star as Miscavige’s “best friend” who “is essentially second in command in Scientology.”
“It is a High Crime in Scientology to criticize [Tom] in any way,” the filing claims, noting that in 2004, Miscavige supposedly told an audience of Scientologists at a gala in England that Cruise was “the most dedicated Scientologist I know.” (Yahoo reached out to a rep for Cruise regarding the lawsuit, but did not immediately receive a response.)
The event was billed as “the wedding of the century,” so Remini says she was surprised when Miscavige’s wife, Michele (“Shelly”) Miscavige, “was nowhere to be found.” Shelly’s “job was to constantly record everything” David said “so that a team of secretaries could later transcribe his words and orders for dissemination throughout Scientology.”
“When Ms. Remini asked a group of Scientology executives and Tom Cruise’s personal handlers … ‘Where is Shelly?’ she was immediately admonished by the group, despite the fact that she and Ms. Miscavige were good friends,” the lawsuit claims.
“Ms. Remini witnessed other behavior at the wedding that set off red flags for her, including unethical contacts between various Scientology executives and others at the wedding which she understood to be forbidden by Scientology teachings,” per the document.
Remini shared her concerns in a written “Knowledge Report” and it was submitted within the church — “Ms. Remini had been brainwashed into believing that by filing reports like this, she was helping Scientology and saving her religion” — and that apparently didn’t go well.
2. Remini claims she was punished and held at a Scientology facility for 4 months after TomKat wedding
After Italy, Remini alleges she was ordered to go to Clearwater, Fla., to the Flag Land Base building (known as “FLAG”) which “is considered the spiritual headquarters of Scientology.” The actress claims she was forced to “undergo a quick ‘ethics cycle,’” which as a decades-long Scientologist, “was one of her life’s worst nightmares.”
“Upon arrival, Ms. Remini was presented with dozens of internal reports from Scientologists complaining about her behavior at the wedding. It was clear to Ms. Remini that she was being punished for asking where Shelly Miscavige was and for filing reports on David Miscavige and others. Ms. Remini was held at FLAG for four months while she was put through a process that cost her hundreds of thousands of dollars and nearly led her to have a psychotic breakdown,” the lawsuit alleges.
“After months of psychological torture, Ms. Remini was nearing the point of psychotic breakdown. She finally gave in, rescinded all of her reports, and admitted that she was the problem in this situation (despite it not being true),” it continues.
Remini ultimately left FLAG and returned to L.A. “where she was forced to lie to her colleagues, friends, and family about what happened while she was in Florida.”
3. In order to make ‘amends’ to Cruise, Remini claims she donated money to Scientology causes
Remini alleges she had to make peace with David and Cruise. “For example, she was forced to donate money to name a seat in a theater after Suri Cruise and was to raise money for donation to Scientology causes led by Tom Cruise,” the lawsuit reads.
The actress estimates that during her more than 35 years as a Scientologist, she spent around $5 million.
4. Remini alleges she was reprimanded for looking up rumors about Scientology online
Scientology’s international base, Golden Era Productions, in Riverside County, Calif. was accused of horrific abuse in 2009. (The church has denied these claims.) “Remini endured another six months of punishment for looking on the Internet and asking questions about the abuse,” the lawsuit alleges.
After her alleged punishment, Remini resigned from Scientology in 2013 and filed a missing persons report on Shelly, who has not been seen in public for 17 years.
5. CNN was allegedly harassed by members of the church and ultimately didn’t run an interview with Remini
In 2015, Remini says she was supposed to promote her book Troublemaker on Anderson Cooper’s show — but the interview didn’t make it to air.
“Due to Scientology’s history of aggressive litigiousness, the interview was pre-taped so that it could be vetted by CNN’s legal department. Before the interview began, Mr. Cooper warned Ms. Remini that the interview might not air. Mr. Cooper told Ms. Remini that when he aired a five-part series on physical abuse being perpetrated by David Miscavige (Scientology: A History of Violence), he and his producers faced so many [Office of Special Affairs] attacks that they might not be willing to face a new storm of harassment,” the lawsuit claims. “Since Cooper’s series aired in 2010, he has never broadcast another story about Scientology. To this day, defendants continue to maintain attack websites against Mr. Cooper and his producers.”
CNN declined to comment when contacted by Yahoo.
6. Conan O’Brien purportedly stunned by Scientology tactics
In 2017, the actress appeared on Conan to promote her Emmy-winning A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. She claims the defendants were continuing “their campaign to harass and discredit her,” so O’Brien was sent “a personal letter criticizing Ms. Remini and claiming that Remini was only speaking out against Scientology for the fame, money and attention.”
“Mr. O’Brien commented that he has never before received a letter of this character in his 24 years of hosting late-night talk shows,” the document claims.
Yahoo reached out to a rep for O’Brien, but did not immediately receive a response.
7. Remini alleges she was stalked by a mentally ill man who wanted to break into her home
The actress claims she’s been stalked, surveilled and harassed for years — and still is. She details a disturbing incident from 2020 in which she claims a man with “a history of mental illness and a violent criminal record” was often parked outside her home.
“Upon information and belief, provided by former top Scientology operatives, Defendants armed this man with a vehicle and money to stalk and surveil Ms. Remini. Over the course of several weeks, at Defendants’ behest, this man rammed his car into the security gates of Ms. Remini’s community and asked residents for Ms. Remini’s address, saying he was waiting to get into her house, falsely claiming he had been there several times before, and that he needed to get a bigger ladder in order to reach her bedroom window,” the lawsuit reads. “He was eventually arrested and then released, at which point he called the police to allege that Ms. Remini was holding hostages at her home. After police responded to Ms. Remini’s house, he was again arrested.”
Remini alleges Scientology operatives typically seek out “individuals with mental illness or who are homeless or addicted to drugs, and other vulnerable people in order to harass its enemies.”
“As recently as 2023, an unidentified male was recorded on video surveillance arriving at Ms. Remini’s gated community in a vehicle armed with a hammer,” the document adds. “This unidentified man drove to Ms. Remini’s residence and smashed her mailbox, which she has to keep locked, to illegally seize Ms. Remini’s personal mail. Police responding to Ms. Remini’s call surmised that he had been sent by Scientology and, upon information and belief, he was sent by Defendants.”