Leah Remini testified Monday as a character witness in the civil rape trial of fellow Scientology whistleblower Paul Haggis, telling the jury that she and the “Crash” director are among the top enemies of the church that will “gather anything they can to hurt you.”
But the “King of Queens” star, who appeared in the New York courtroom via videoconferences from her Beverly Hills home, did not establish any direct connection between Scientology and the accusations of Haleigh Breest, who is seeking unspecified damages from what she said was a violent rape at his Manhattan apartment in 2013.
Remini, who co-hosted the 2016 docuseries “Scientology and the Aftermath” with previous character witness Mike Rinder, said the trio comprises the top three “enemies” of the church. She said she’s been subject to “constant harassment and stalking” by church members who continue to show up at her house, and the homes of family members:
“It’s a constant threat,” she testified. “It’s not something that has ended.”
She said the church will also leverage lawsuits to try to financially ruin ex-Scientologists, and constantly “gather anything they can to hurt you.”
Haggis has maintained that the sexual encounter was entirely consensual, and his legal team has tried to suggest that Scientology cooked up the allegations, but have not presented any evidence of a connection. The church has vigorously denied any involvement in either case, saying only that it demands its members follow the law.
Remini also called Haggis a “caring … warm … funny” person, and said the allegations are inconsistent with the person she’s known for 30 years.
“Haleigh Breest claims Mr. Haggis forced himself on her sexually,” Haggis attorney Priya Chaudhry said. “Is that consistent with your knowledge of Mr. Haggis?”
“Not at all,” she said.
“Does her claim change your opinion of him?”
Zoe Salzman, lawyer for plaintiff Haleigh Breest, asked Remini on cross-examination to clarify that what she knew about the night in question had all come from Haggis.
“You agree Ms. Remini that a person can both be both a former Scientologist and a rapist, right?”
“Yes,” Remini replied.
“You were not in Mr. Haggis’ apartment on Jan. 13, 2013, correct?” Salzman asked.
“Correct,” Remini said.
“You have no personal knowledge of what happened to Haleigh Breest there that night?” Salzman said.
“No, just what Paul told me,” Remini said, who noted that Haggis had told her the encounter had been consensual.
Closing arguments were expected to begin Monday afternoon.
More to come …