Leah Remini Testifies That Rape Allegation Against Paul Haggis Is Scientology Scheme

The claim is dubious considering Haggis faces allegations from numerous women, none of whom are outwardly connected to Scientology.

Leah Remini Testifies That Rape Allegation Against Paul Haggis Is Scientology Scheme
Photo:JC Olivera, Daniele Venturelli (Getty Images)

Actor and famed Scientology whistleblower Leah Remini testified in court on Monday that a rape allegation against her friend, writer Paul Haggis, is actually a retaliatory scheme by the Church of Scientology because Haggis also left the Church. Haggis’ former publicist, Haleigh Breest, alleges in a lawsuit that Haggis raped her in 2013 at his Manhattan apartment. But, according to Remini, who testified before the New York Supreme Court in Manhattan, Haggis “is the victim here.”

Remini claimed that she, too, has faced threats from the Church of Scientology for leaving and publicly speaking out against the church. “You would have to retain lawyers and that would cost a lot of money and the purpose of this is to have you financially ruined so that the last thing you would want to do is to get into a battle with Scientology,” she said. “The purpose of Scientology lawsuits is just to destroy your life.”

Further, Remini claimed that Breest and several other women alleging sexual misconduct from Haggis—including a criminal allegation of rape in Italy—are connected to the Church of Scientology. However, during cross-examination, she admitted she didn’t actually know if that was true.

“In this case, Haleigh Breest claims Mr. Haggis forced himself on her sexually. Is that consistent with your knowledge of Mr. Haggis?” Haggis’ attorney, Priya Chaudhry, asked Remini to which she replied, “not at all.” When a lawyer for Breest asked Remini if she had any “personal knowledge of what happened to Haleigh Breest there that night,” Remini’s response was, “No, just what Paul told me.”

Last week, Haggis testified that he couldn’t fully recall whether he and Breest had penetrative sexual intercourse. He claimed that Breest sent him “mixed signals” in his apartment after they left a film premiere together—another pretty common tagline from men accused of abuse.

Despite Haggis’ own shady testimony, his legal team seems to be leaning in hard on the narrative that this is all a pro-Scientology sham. Breest’s lawyers have called this “nonsense.” “We’ve seen this one hundred times. They have zero evidence of a connection to Scientology. They know it. We know it. They’ve wasted our time,” one of Breest’s attorneys, Ilann Maazel, told The Daily Beast outside court on Monday after Remini’s testimony.

The Church of Scientology itself also shared a statement with the outlet denying any involvement. Currently, the Church is embroiled with allegations of rampant sexual misconduct and predation at the center of Danny Masterson’s ongoing rape trial.

Closing arguments for Haggis’ trial are set to take place on Wednesday this week.

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