If you've picked up a newspaper or been anywhere social media in the past three months, then you're no doubt aware that the film industry has been shaken to its foundations by allegations of Sexual Assault against some of the most influential men in Hollywood.
While most of the accusations have centered around alleged attackers such as Harvey Weinstein abusing the power they attained through their wealth and fame, some have singled out problematic organizations such as the Church of Scientology, which for decades, has been haunted by reports of human trafficking and coerced sex acts.
For years now, Leah Remini has been publicly calling out the controversial cult for its abuse of low-level believers and the harassment campaigns they use to target former members.
Now, she's coming to the defense of a fellow lapsed-Scientologist, filmmaker and two-time Oscar winner Paul Haggis.
On January 5, Haggis was accused of Sexual misconduct by three women who offered accounts of incidents in which the Crash and Million Dollar Baby screenwriter groped or harassed them.
Earlier this week, Remini and her Scientology and the Aftermath co-host Mike Rinder posted an open letter in which they state their belief that Haggis is being framed as part of a Scientologist conspiracy.
"There is plenty of reason to worry about defending anyone accused of sexual assault in today’s climate. But the fear of consequences for speaking our truth has not held us back in the past and isn’t about to start now," Remini and Rinder write.
"It is not a crime to be attracted to women (or men). It’s not a crime to flirt. Or to have sexual relations with someone," they continued.
"It might not be acceptable to your significant other (if you have one), but it certainly isn’t criminal nor worthy of newspaper headlines."
Remini and Rinder go on to point out the ways in which current Scientologists are persuaded to assist the church in tearing down the reputations of former members:
"Only a Scientologist can understand the pressure one feels to offer up even the slightest thing that the Scientology organization might consider a transgression of THEIR mores," they write.
"Paul Haggis deserves, based on his record as a gentleman and humanitarian, to be judged when all the evidence has been taken under penalty of perjury in a court of law.
"Because claims of anonymous accusers who have NOT gone to law enforcement are not credible," they conclude.
This is not the first time that Scientology and its controversial practices have been mentioned in connection with the recent wave of sexual assault scandals.
Several times over the past year, former That '70s Show actor Danny Masterson was accused of rape, and his alleged victims say he used his position of power within the church to coerce them into performing sex acts.
Many believe that Masterson was able to avoid the professional consequences of his alleged actions
We'll have further updates on this story as more information becomes available.
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