The Church of Scientology has responded to claims of “harassment and intimidation” made against it by actress Leah Remini, describing her allegations as “pure lunacy”.
Remini, who rose to fame in teen shows such as Saved By The Bell, and is known for sitcoms including The King Of Queens and Kevin Can Wait, has filed a lawsuit against the organisation and its leader David Miscavige.
The 53-year-old star is a former member of the church who joined as a child, but has become one of its most prominent critics since leaving in 2013.
She is now seeking damages after claiming to have suffered 17 years of “psychological torture, defamation, surveillance, harassment, and intimidation” which she claims “significantly” impacted her life and career.
The Church of Scientology has now responded, describing Remini as “an anti-free speech bigot” and a “horrible person”.
The statement read: “This lawsuit is ludicrous and the allegations pure lunacy. The Church is not intimidated by Remini’s latest act of blatant harassment and attempt to prevent truthful free speech.”
It also accuses the actress of profiting from her “fabrications”.
Remini co-created and hosted an anti-Scientology documentary series, Leah Remini: Scientology And The Aftermath, which aired from 2016 to 2019 and won two Emmy awards.
In a statement released after filing her lawsuit, she said: “I believe I am not the first person targeted by Scientology and its operations, but I intend to be the last.”
In the document, filed on Wednesday, she accuses the Church of “mob-style operations and attacks” on her and other “victims and survivors”.