Fired FoxNews.com entertainment columnist Roger Friedman says it wasn’t watching a pirated copy of the 20th Century Fox film “Wolverine” – and then writing about it – that got him fired, it was actress Kelly Preston, and other members of the Church of Scientology. That’s the claim Friedman is expected to make in a wrongful termination lawsuit. The news of the suit was first reported by Nikki Finke. Friedman talked to Rush & Malloy in today’s New York Daily News. And the suit is expected to involve News Corp. execs Roger Ailes and John Moody.
Friedman was fired in April, but he claims his troubles began last year.
Last August, Friedman went to Memphis for the funeral of his friend and R&B legend Isaac Hayes, who was a Scientologist. Preston was also in town for the funeral. Friedman tells us that when Preston saw him at the Peabody Hotel, Mrs. John Travolta loudly blasted him for his columns criticizing Scientology.
The following month, says an ally of Friedman, Preston voiced her complaints about Friedman to Fox News chief Roger Ailes and his then-EVP, John Moody.
“Moody talked to her on the phone,” says the source. “When she couldn’t get Moody to fire Friedman, she called him a [obscenity].”
The Daily news reports that Ailes and Moody later agreed to meet with Preston and a Church of Scientology spokesman.