Actress Leah Remini filed a lawsuit on Tuesday against the Church of Scientology, accusing the religious organization of stalking, harassment, defamation, and infliction of emotional distress, among other charges.
Remini, who joined the Church in 1979 as a child and left in 2013, claims Scientology’s “mob-style operations and attacks” have “significantly” impacted her life and career.
“For 17 years, Scientology and David Miscavige have subjected me to what I believe to be psychological torture, defamation, surveillance, harassment, and intimidation, significantly impacting my life and career. I believe I am not the first person targeted by Scientology and its operations, but I intend to be the last,” Remini stated in a press release sent out Wednesday.
According to the release, Remini filed the lawsuit in the California Superior Court on Aug. 2 in an attempt to “require Scientology, and any entity it controls and funds, to cease and desist its alleged practice of harassment, defamation, and other unlawful conduct against anyone who Scientology has labeled as an ‘enemy.’”
Remini also seeks compensatory and punitive damages for the alleged harm Scientology has inflicted on her personal and professional life.
Named defendants are the Church of Scientology, Miscavige and Religious Technology Center, Inc., which, Remini alleges, manages policing operations and principally enforces Scientology’s punishment orders.
Per the release, “OSA Network Orders, a series of directives from Scientology’s founder, the late L. Ron Hubbard, institutionalized a series of retaliatory actions to be taken against any individual, organization, business or government entity that Scientology declares as an enemy. Under the organizations’ rules, directives originating from Hubbard cannot be changed.”
Remini alleges that a series of attacks meant to “obliterate” and “totally restrain and muzzle” her were “activated by OSA and their operatives.” The lawsuit details alleged “coordinated campaigns” by the Church levied against Remini and her family, friends and business associates.
“With this lawsuit, I hope to protect my rights as afforded by the Constitution of the United States to speak the truth and report the facts about Scientology,” Remini continued. “I feel strongly that the banner of religious freedom does not give anyone license to intimidate, harass and abuse those who exercise their First Amendment rights.”
The Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to Variety‘s request for comment.
In 2016, Remini co-created and executive produced a documentary series about the Church titled “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.” She won two Emmy awards for the series, which ran for three seasons.
In November, Remini testified on behalf of Paul Haggis in the “That ’70s Show” actor’s civil rape trial. Remini implied that the Church was behind rape allegations against Haggis, who left Scientology in 2009. “Men and women who have been raped absolutely deserve justice. But in this case, it’s absolutely Paul who is the victim here,” Remini told jurors.
When that trial ended with a hung jury, Remini posted a lengthy statement to Twitter, accusing Miscavige of covering up sex abuse crimes within the Church of Scientology.
“Scientology was responsible for reporting these crimes to civil authorities but did no such thing. Instead, it covered them up,” Remini wrote. “Scientology and its evil leader David Miscavige obstructed justice and participated in a conspiracy to cover up these crimes. They have done this many other times in cases of rape and other sexual misconduct.”