Where is Shelly? This question is a rallying cry for many of those questioning the operational side of the Church of Scientology and was also at the causal center of actress Leah Remini‘s recent defection from the ranks.
Although Church spokespersons vehemently deny the wife of David Miscavige is “missing” in any way, shape or form, they are about to face a whole new level of public curiosity. From Tony Ortega’s Underground Bunker:
After speaking with the Los Angeles Police Department, we have confirmed that on Wednesday Remini filed a missing-person report for Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly Miscavige, who has not been seen in public in six years.
Wow. Ortega shares a photo of Remini and Shelly Miscavige taken in 2005 as well as all sorts of additional background info and speculation. If this keeps up, the Church may soon be pining for the good old days of Tom Cruise-Matt Lauer interviews.
Update (11:30 p.m):
The LAPD has quickly closed the investigation. TMZ reports that law enforcement authorities did so after a face-to-face meeting with Shelly Miscavige.
The Church told TMZ earlier that, “This [the Shelly Miscavige allegations] is just harassment. It is a publicity stunt cooked up by a small band of unemployed fanatics who live on the fringe of the Internet.”
Update (August 9):
Here’s the Church’s statement in full, as provided to FishbowlNY:
The Los Angeles Police Department has already stated that the case is closed and that the report filed by Leah Remini was unfounded.
This ill-advised, ludicrous self-promotion and the media inquiries it generated caused an inexcusable distraction for the LAPD in an era when the time and resources of its officers are stretched thin each day. Creating this unnecessary burden for law enforcement was even more irresponsible given the entire episode was nothing more than a publicity stunt for Ms. Remini, cooked up with unemployed, anti-religious zealots, like Tony Ortega, who blog on the fringe of the Internet. Sadly, rather than move on with her life and career, Ms. Remini has aligned herself with a handful of untrustworthy, lunatic tabloid sources who obsessively harass the Church to advance their selfish agendas.