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Actress Leah Remini’s Suit Against Scientology For Podcast’s End Allowed To Go Forward.


A portion of actress Leah Remini’s defamation lawsuit against the Church of Scientology International for what she alleged was harassment for speaking out about her time in the church on a podcast has been thrown out. But a Los Angeles judge is allowing other portions of the suit to move forward. Remini sued the church last August claiming she had received death threats and other forms of harassment that led to the eventual end of her series.


Remini first teamed up with iHeartPodcasts in 2020 to produce the Fair Game podcast. Working with former Scientologist Mike Rinder, the series gave listeners what it said was the “terrible truth” about Scientology's Fair Game doctrine. 


The church responded to the podcast’s claims on a website that attacks not only Remini’s allegations, but the actress herself. It calls her “immoral” and accuses her of breaking up a marriage. “Leah Remini has carried on a bigoted and hate-filled crusade for years, shamelessly capitalizing on her vengeance against the Church of Scientology to make money and garner attention,” the website says. 


Remini, in her harassment lawsuit, claims the church also called iHeartMedia executives urging them to drop the podcast. The suit also claims the church “directed individuals to follow and harass podcast producers until those producers grew so fearful that iHeartMedia made the decision to terminate the relationship with Ms. Remini to protect its employees and agents, even though the show was successful in its ratings.” She blames that for a decision by iHeart to end its contract with her in March 2022 after the podcast’s last episode was released.


The show then moved over to Audioboom, where Remini’s suit alleges similar efforts to derail her podcast were taken. It quotes a letter allegedly sent by the church to Audioboom CEO Stuart Last saying the Fair Game show is a “hate podcast” and that they were supporting a “bigoted” show. The letter said that eBay, State Farm, and Verizon confirmed they would no longer run ads on Fair Game, and it soon “lost all commercial advertising” while at iHeart, suggesting the same could happen at the show’s new home.


“Audioboom advertisers deserve the decency of being informed you intend to identify their brands with defamation and hate. We will be so informing them,” said the letter, signed by 39 church members. Audioboom also told Remini’s agent that an organization with ties to Scientology began reaching out to advertisers telling them they were “promoting hate” by working with the podcast. A few months later, Audioboom terminated its contract with Remini before another episode of Fair Game was released.


In her harassment suit, Remini says the church “intentionally interfered” with her economic relationships with iHeartMedia and Audioboom, including through writing “false and disparaging accusations” about her on social media and sending “disparaging letters” to podcast executives. She is seeking unspecified compensatory and punitive damages from the church.


Judge Randolph Hammock ruled this week that some of what the church has said about Remini is protected under the First Amendment. He ruled that when viewed in the context of their dispute, the alleged statements “implicate a broader public dispute” over Remini’s relationship with Scientology. But the judge is allowing other parts of the suit to go forward, including allegations of surveillance. Hammock also said that Remini has enough to go forward with her allegation of harassment tied to the podcast.


“Generally, the court agrees conduct of this type is not actionable,” Hammock wrote. “But what the Church cannot do is send agents to harass the podcast’s producers and staff, to the point that they feared for their safety. Therefore, [Remini] has established the requisite minimal merit of her claim for tortious interference as it pertains to the iHeartMedia contract.” He said the church has so far not presented any conclusive evidence to defend the claim. 


Hammock says the Audioboom claims also go beyond First Amendment protections, concluding the company “attributed the contract termination in part to the harassment and intimidation of its employees.” 


While a mixed ruling, the church calls the decision a “resounding victory” nevertheless and says it will be seeking attorney fees from Remini.


Hammock has set an Oct. 2025 date for the remaining harassment claims to go to trial.

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