Leah Remini Hints Scientology Behind Paul Haggis Sexual Misconduct Claims

By Christine Zosche 

Facing accusations of sexual misconduct from four women, Paul Haggis has repeatedly pointed to the Church of Scientology as perhaps playing a role in those claims. Monday, Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, Remini’s co-host on A&E series Scientology And The Aftermath, came forward to defend the Crash director and question the involvement of the church in what Haggis has called a “public hanging.” (Deadline)

Three of the women who accused Haggis—an ex-Scientologist, like Remini and Rinder—did so anonymously. Two of the accusations were of rape. (Variety)

“Paul Haggis deserves, based on his record as a gentleman and humanitarian, to be judged when all the evidence has been taken under penalty of perjury in a court of law,” Remini and Rinder wrote in an open letter posted on Monday. “Because claims of anonymous accusers who have not gone to law enforcement are not credible.” (THR)

“We expect the next ‘revelations’ about Paul Haggis in this campaign to destroy him to be based on information culled from his Scientology files in the form of more ‘anonymous’ accusers, hiding behind a lawyer who will never have to disclose who is paying their bill,” Remini and Rinder said in the letter. (TheWrap)

Haggis has denied the original rape accusation in a counter-complaint to the lawsuit, filed in December in Manhattan, and said the accuser and her lawyer had demanded a $9 million payment to avoid legal action, which he characterized as extortion. Haggis gained attention for his defection from Scientology in 2009, and public criticism of the religion in a 2011 New Yorker article, a book and an HBO documentary. (USA Today)