Advertisement
Remini Subpoenaed to Testify in Harassment Suit Against Church of Scientology
PHOTO: leah remini

Actress Leah Remini has been subpoenaed to testify in a harassment lawsuit against the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige, according to a lawyer connected with the case.

Monique Rathbun, married to ex-Scientology executive Marty Rathbun, filed the lawsuit earlier this year, claiming the Church of Scientology was responsible for persistent surveillance, intimidation, insults and harassment to her family and friends and co-workers.

In 2009, Marty Rathbun, of Bulverde, Texas, went public with criticisms of the church and its leader. After that, the Rathbuns say they were subjected to a wave of harassment by church members. Rathbun posted a video on the Internet describing incidents where people he identified as Scientologists regularly confronted the couple with video cameras.

Leah Remini's Sister on Scientology Split: Friends Made to Choose Sides

In an affidavit obtained by ABC News, Monique Rathbun, who was never a church member, alleges that "Scientology investigators" visited her family, friends and co-workers.

"Someone sent flowers to the receptionist with a sexual message on the card supposedly from me. It was mortifying at work. How do you explain that to people?," Monique Rathbun said.

"This case is not about them coming after me. This case is about them targeting my wife," Marty Rathbun added.

Rathbun's attorney, Ray Jeffery, says he wants Remini, a former Scientologist, to give a deposition in the hopes she could testify that Miscavige has vast influence over the operations of the church and had to have known about the alleged harassment.

The lawsuit was filed earlier this year in Comal County, Texas.

Attorneys for the church and Miscavige have argued the suit is without merit and they're trying to get Miscavige dropped from the case, saying he has no connection to the alleged incidents. The church called the claims against Miscavige "rank harassment."

Leah Remini Breaks Silence on Scientology Split

In a statement to ABC News, the church says this case is "…nothing more than a pathetic get-rich scheme cooked up by unemployed blogger Marty Rathbun...who is now resorting to using his wife in an attempt to extort money from the Church."

Sources close to Remini told ABC News overnight that she is not pleased with being drawn into the lawsuit and that she hopes Rathbun's lawyers will reconsider their efforts to subpoena her.

Read the Church of Scientology International's Statement to ABC News Regarding Monique Rathbun's Lawsuit Against the Church and David Miscavige

Read the Complaint Filed by Monique Rathbun Against the Church of Scientology and David Miscavige

Remini, 43, a contestant on the current season of "Dancing With the Stars," left the church in July after more than 30 years.

On the Sept. 23 episode of "DWTS," Remini said the church is rooting against her on the reality dance competition.

"The church is looking for me to fail so they can say to their parishioners, 'you see what happens when you leave the church?,'" the former "King of Queens" star told her pro partner, Tony Dovolani.

Remini, who served for one year in the church's elite "Sea Org" religious order and was friends with some of Scientology's most high-profile members, including Tom Cruise, has not stated publicly why she left the church.

She has said publicly that she is planning a tell-all memoir that will, "include my experiences, everything that's taboo to talk about."

As to why she chose to go on a reality TV show just months after leaving the church, Remini said on "DWTS" that she needed the distraction.

"I just think it's going to get me out, you know out of my head," she said. "Out of beating myself up. Out of these bad habits."

The church has said it "could care less" about how the actress does on "DWTS."

"We know this may come as a surprise to someone as self-absorbed as Ms. Remini, but we could care less if she wins or loses on 'Dancing With the Stars,'" a Scientology spokesperson told ABC News in an email after Remini's remarks.

Read the Church of Scientology International's Statement to ABC News Regarding Leah Remini

More ABC News