Leah Remini Defends Paul Haggis Against Rape Accusation In Court, Says He’s A Victim Of Scientology

Leah Remini is standing up for a fellow former Scientology member — which would ordinarily be commendable. But this time the friend is Paul Haggis — and the setting is his civil rape trial.

In case you don’t recall, the Crash director was sued by publicist Haleigh Breest back in December 2017 for allegedly raping her at his Manhattan apartment following a movie premiere in 2013. Paul has denied the accusation, claiming the encounter was consensual. Since the accusation four more women also have come forward with sexual assault allegations against Million Dollar Baby screenwriter.

The trial began last month, with the 69-year-old filmmaker’s legal team taking an unusual tactic: primarily arguing that Scientology had fabricated the allegations against him. Paul defected from the church in 2013, becoming an outspoken critic of Scientology — alongside Leah. And now, the 52-year-old actress stepped forward to bolster his claim in the case.

During the trial on Monday, Leah appeared in the courtroom in New York via video to testify as a character witness, where she claimed she, Paul, and Mike Rinder are the top “enemies” of the church. The Kings of Queens star said they face “constant harassment and stalking” by members who show up not just at her house but her family members’ homes, adding:

“It’s a constant threat. It’s not something that has ended.”

Leah, who famously made the Scientology and the Aftermath docuseries on A&E, claimed the church uses lawsuits to try to hurt former members financially and will “gather anything they can to hurt you.” The former The Talk host also described Paul as a “caring … warm … funny” person, noting that the accusations against him do not match what she has known about him for the past 30 years. His attorney Priya Chaudhry asked:

“Haleigh Breest claims Mr. Haggis forced himself on her sexually. Is that consistent with your knowledge of Mr. Haggis?”

Leah answered:

“Not at all.”

Just because someone acts decent with you, it does not mean he wouldn’t be capable of hurting someone like this behind closed doors… When asked if the rape allegations changed her “opinion of him,” Leah simply stated:


During the cross-examination, Haleigh’s attorney Zoe Salzman asked Leah about what she knew about the night Paul allegedly assaulted her client. She first questioned:

“You agree Ms. Remini that a person can both be both a former Scientologist and a rapist, right?”

Leah responded:


The lawyer then asked:

“You were not in Mr. Haggis’ apartment on Jan. 13, 2013, correct?”

When the Kevin Can Wait alum replied “correct,” Zoe went on:

“You have no personal knowledge of what happened to Haleigh Breest there that night?”

Leah said:

“No, just what Paul told me.”

Leah noted Paul told her their encounter had been consensual — and clearly she believes him. As for their claims of Scientology setting all this up? The church has denied having a hand in the matter, noting they ask everyone a part of the church to follow the law. And his attorneys haven’t been able to provide any evidence that backs the claim.

We’ll have to see what happens next with this trial. Reactions to Leah’s testimony, Perezcious paralegals? Do YOU think the jury will believe Haggis was framed by Scientology? Let us know in the comments below.

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