Leah Remini and Mike Rinder: Paul Haggis Sexual Misconduct Accusers ‘Are Suspect’

“Scientology and the Aftermath” co-hosts Leah Remini and Mike Rinder are defending Paul Haggis after the “Crash” screenwriter was accused of sexual misconduct, stating in an open letter that the accusations against Haggis come from information gathered about him during Scientology auditing sessions.

“We expect the next ‘revelations’ about Paul Haggis in this campaign to destroy him to be based on information culled from his scientology files in the form of more ‘anonymous’ accusers, hiding behind a lawyer who will never have to disclose who is paying their bill,” Remini and Rinder said in the letter, which was published on Rinder’s blog on Monday in a post titled “Concerning Paul Haggis.”

The Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Also Read: Leah Remini on Danny Masterson Rape Probe: Scientology ‘Aligned Itself’ With LAPD

Remini and Rinder, both defectors from the church, said that defending someone accused of sexual misdeeds might be “politically incorrect,” but said it was “more important to us than being politically correct is standing up for what we believe is right.”

Remini and Rinder praised Haggis, also an ex-Scientologist, for being a “gentleman,” and lauded him for his works benefitting the LGBT community and women’s rights.

“Like those of us who were scientologists, we trusted and confided in our church to seek resolution for our shortcomings,” they said. “What is different about scientology is the detailed records they maintain of everything you tell them. And beyond that, they conduct intense interrogations based on the idea that only when all specifics and details are disclosed can one find relief. The names, dates, and minute details of any indiscretions, and even thoughts, are all recorded.”

Also Read: Erinn Hayes Says She’s ‘Very Aware’ That Scientology Is Behind ‘Bashing’ of ‘Kevin Can Wait’

Remini and Rinder continued in the letter to say that “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,” and that information the church gathers about one of its members “is used against anyone who departs scientology and dares speak their mind.”

“This is not imaginary,” the letter stated. “There is a documented history of such things. When someone is a declared an “enemy” by scientology, they are fair game.”

“Those who accuse without going to law enforcement, those who seek hush money to keep their stories secret, those who make accusations to the media anonymously – they are suspect,” the open letter continued. “And when the target of these tactics is someone who is a prominent critic of scientology, it is very suspect.”

Also Read: Leah Remini’s A&E Series May Take on Jehovah’s Witnesses in Season 3

Remini and Rinder finished the open letter by saying that because of Haggis’ “record as a gentleman and humanitarian,” he deserves “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.”

Haggis was sued in December by publicist Haleigh Breest, who said the filmmaker raped her in 2013. In January, three more women came forward, one of whom also accused Haggis of rape.

The new accusers said that the alleged encounters took place between 1996 and 2015, and that Haggis lured them with the prospect of discussions of productions or a professional discussion. According to the Associatd Press, the new accusers unanimously said that Haggis initially attempted to kiss them; two accusers said that Haggis became more aggressive after they spurned his advances.

Also Read: Leah Remini Says Scientology Church Urged Her to Convert Kevin James

The woman accusing Haggis of rape said she was a 28-year-old publicist at the time of the alleged incident, and said that the filmmaker called her to his office to review photos from a television show that he was producing in 1996.

Haggis’ attorney denied the new allegations, asserting, “He didn’t rape anybody.” Haggis also denied Breest’s accusations, and has filed his own suit against Breest, alleging that he was targeted by a $9 million extortion attempt.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Leah Remini on Danny Masterson Rape Probe: Scientology ‘Aligned Itself’ With LAPD

Erinn Hayes Says She’s ‘Very Aware’ That Scientology Is Behind ‘Bashing’ of ‘Kevin Can Wait’

Leah Remini Says Scientology Church Urged Her to Convert Kevin James

Elisabeth Moss Defends Scientology in Rare Comment About the Church

“Scientology and the Aftermath” co-hosts Leah Remini and Mike Rinder are defending Paul Haggis after the “Crash” screenwriter was accused of sexual misconduct, stating in an open letter that the accusations against Haggis come from information gathered about him during Scientology auditing sessions.

“We expect the next ‘revelations’ about Paul Haggis in this campaign to destroy him to be based on information culled from his scientology files in the form of more ‘anonymous’ accusers, hiding behind a lawyer who will never have to disclose who is paying their bill,” Remini and Rinder said in the letter, which was published on Rinder’s blog on Monday in a post titled “Concerning Paul Haggis.”

The Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to TheWrap’s request for comment.

Remini and Rinder, both defectors from the church, said that defending someone accused of sexual misdeeds might be “politically incorrect,” but said it was “more important to us than being politically correct is standing up for what we believe is right.”

Remini and Rinder praised Haggis, also an ex-Scientologist, for being a “gentleman,” and lauded him for his works benefitting the LGBT community and women’s rights.

“Like those of us who were scientologists, we trusted and confided in our church to seek resolution for our shortcomings,” they said. “What is different about scientology is the detailed records they maintain of everything you tell them. And beyond that, they conduct intense interrogations based on the idea that only when all specifics and details are disclosed can one find relief. The names, dates, and minute details of any indiscretions, and even thoughts, are all recorded.”

Remini and Rinder continued in the letter to say that “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,” and that information the church gathers about one of its members “is used against anyone who departs scientology and dares speak their mind.”

“This is not imaginary,” the letter stated. “There is a documented history of such things. When someone is a declared an “enemy” by scientology, they are fair game.”

“Those who accuse without going to law enforcement, those who seek hush money to keep their stories secret, those who make accusations to the media anonymously – they are suspect,” the open letter continued. “And when the target of these tactics is someone who is a prominent critic of scientology, it is very suspect.”

Remini and Rinder finished the open letter by saying that because of Haggis’ “record as a gentleman and humanitarian,” he deserves “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.”

Haggis was sued in December by publicist Haleigh Breest, who said the filmmaker raped her in 2013. In January, three more women came forward, one of whom also accused Haggis of rape.

The new accusers said that the alleged encounters took place between 1996 and 2015, and that Haggis lured them with the prospect of discussions of productions or a professional discussion. According to the Associatd Press, the new accusers unanimously said that Haggis initially attempted to kiss them; two accusers said that Haggis became more aggressive after they spurned his advances.

The woman accusing Haggis of rape said she was a 28-year-old publicist at the time of the alleged incident, and said that the filmmaker called her to his office to review photos from a television show that he was producing in 1996.

Haggis’ attorney denied the new allegations, asserting, “He didn’t rape anybody.” Haggis also denied Breest’s accusations, and has filed his own suit against Breest, alleging that he was targeted by a $9 million extortion attempt.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Leah Remini on Danny Masterson Rape Probe: Scientology 'Aligned Itself' With LAPD

Erinn Hayes Says She's 'Very Aware' That Scientology Is Behind 'Bashing' of 'Kevin Can Wait'

Leah Remini Says Scientology Church Urged Her to Convert Kevin James

Elisabeth Moss Defends Scientology in Rare Comment About the Church

Leah Remini Defends Paul Haggis, Suggests Scientology May Be Behind Misconduct Claims

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, Remini’s co-host on A&E series “Scientology and the Aftermath,” have posted an open letter defending director Paul Haggis, who was accused of sexual misconduct by four women in a Jan. 5 Associated Press report. Three of the women who accused Haggis — an ex-Scientologist, like Remini and Rinder — did […]

Leah Remini and Mike Rinder, Remini’s co-host on A&E series “Scientology and the Aftermath,” have posted an open letter defending director Paul Haggis, who was accused of sexual misconduct by four women in a Jan. 5 Associated Press report. Three of the women who accused Haggis — an ex-Scientologist, like Remini and Rinder — did […]

Leah Remini Hints Scientology Behind Paul Haggis Sexual Misconduct Claims

Facing accusations from four women of sexual misconduct, Paul Haggis has repeatedly pointed to the Church of Scientology as perhaps playing a role in the claims. Today Leah Remini and another high profile former Scientologist and critic of the organization has come forward to defend the Crash director and question the involvement of Scientology in what Haggis has called a “public hanging.”
“We expect the next ‘revelations’ about Paul Haggis in this campaign to destroy him…

Facing accusations from four women of sexual misconduct, Paul Haggis has repeatedly pointed to the Church of Scientology as perhaps playing a role in the claims. Today Leah Remini and another high profile former Scientologist and critic of the organization has come forward to defend the Crash director and question the involvement of Scientology in what Haggis has called a "public hanging." "We expect the next 'revelations' about Paul Haggis in this campaign to destroy him…

Leah Remini Defends Paul Haggis: ‘Anonymous’ Rape Allegations Against Ex-Scientologist Are ‘Very Suspect’

Haggis has been accused of sexual misconduct by four separate women, two of whom say the filmmaker raped them.

Leah Remini has written an open letter along with Mike Rinder, her co-host of the A&E docu-series “Scientology and the Aftermath,” in which the pair defend “Crash” director and fellow ex-Scientologist Paul Haggis against multiple sexual misconduct allegations, including two rape claims. Haggis was accused of sexual harassment and abuse by four women in a January 5 report from the Associated Press. Three of the four women spoke anonymously.

“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,” Remini and Rinder write in the letter. “Because claims of anonymous accusers who have NOT gone to law enforcement are not credible.”

Haggis left the Church of Scientology in 2009 after being a member for 35 years. Remini followed in 2013. The director appeared on the A&E series last September where he talked about his highly-publicized exit from Scientology. Haggis was also an interview subject in Alex Gibney’s documentary “Going Clear.”

Although Remini and Rinder understand how worrisome it looks to defend anyone accused of sexual harassment and abuse during the height of the #MeToo movement, the pair state that they’ve never let “the fear of consequences for speaking [the] truth” hold them back.

“Paul Haggis is a good man who has been a friend to us and so many others,” the letter continues. “He has championed the rights of women, the LGBT community and has fought for and devoted himself to the underprivileged in the world. These are not ‘PR stunts’ — he has devoted his time, skill and money to worthy causes without fanfare for decades.”

Remini and Rinder say they expect the next revelations about Paul Haggis to come from “information culled from his Scientology files in the form of more ‘anonymous’ accusers, hiding behind a lawyer who will never have to disclose who is paying their bill.” The duo warn that believing anonymous accusers in Haggis’ case is dangerous because he is an outspoken critic of Scientology, which makes him a target of the Church.

“Those who accuse without going to law enforcement, those who seek hush money to keep their stories secret, those who make accusations to the media anonymously – they are suspect,” the letter states. “And when the target of these tactics is someone who is a prominent critic of scientology, it is very suspect.”

The letter was posted directly to Rinder’s blog on January 15 with the title “Concerning Paul Haggis.” Click here to read the letter in its entirety.

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Paul Haggis To Face Rape Accuser’s Lawyers; Director Dumped By Charity

In what looks to be the first face-to-face in a case of alleged sexual assault in Hollywood’s post-Harvey Weinstein era, Paul Haggis will be grilled by his accuser’s lawyers later this month in a deposition by the Oscar-winning director.
Being both filmed and recorded on January 29 at the NYC offices of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, the sit-down also comes as the now multiple accused Haggis was called a “disgrace” by Haleigh Breest this week. The comment was one…

In what looks to be the first face-to-face in a case of alleged sexual assault in Hollywood’s post-Harvey Weinstein era, Paul Haggis will be grilled by his accuser's lawyers later this month in a deposition by the Oscar-winning director. Being both filmed and recorded on January 29 at the NYC offices of Emery Celli Brinckerhoff & Abady LLP, the sit-down also comes as the now multiple accused Haggis was called a "disgrace" by Haleigh Breest this week. The comment was one…

Paul Haggis Strongly Denies Trio Of New Sexual Misconduct Allegations

Facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct, Paul Haggis today postulated that the new charges were a tactic to force a mutimillion dollar settlement or the result of his long estrangement from Scientology.
Three women have come forward to accuse Haggis of sexual misconduct after Haleigh Breest filed a civil suit last month accusing the Oscar-winning filmmaker of rape, the Associated Press reports. All three of the women approached Breest’s Emery Celli Brinckerhoff…

Facing fresh allegations of sexual misconduct, Paul Haggis today postulated that the new charges were a tactic to force a mutimillion dollar settlement or the result of his long estrangement from Scientology. Three women have come forward to accuse Haggis of sexual misconduct after Haleigh Breest filed a civil suit last month accusing the Oscar-winning filmmaker of rape, the Associated Press reports. All three of the women approached Breest’s Emery Celli Brinckerhoff…

Paul Haggis Accused of Sexual Misconduct by 3 More Women

“Crash” director Paul Haggis, who was reportedly sued in December by a woman who accused him of rape, has now been accused of sexual misconduct by three more women — one of whom also accuses Haggis of rape — the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, the three new accusers were prompted to come forward by the suit filed by publicist Haleigh Breest, who accused Haggis of raping her in 2013.

One of three additional women accusing Haggis said that the director forced her to perform oral sex prior to raping her, the report states.

Also Read: Paul Haggis Accused of Rape in Lawsuit; Filmmaker Denies Claim in Separate Suit

A second new accuser told the AP that she managed to run away from Haggis after he told her, “I need to be inside you.”

The new accusers, who say that the alleged encounters took place between 1996 and 2015, said that Haggis lured them with the prospect of discussions of productions or a professional discussion. According to the AP, the new accusers unanimously said that Haggis initially attempted to kiss them; two accusers said that Haggis became more aggressive after they spurned his advances.

The woman accusing Haggis of rape, who said she was a 28-year-old publicist at the time of the alleged incident, said that the filmmaker called her to his office to review photos from a television show that he was producing in 1996.

Also Read: Ed Westwick Replaced in BBC’s ‘Ordeal By Innocence’ After Sexual Misconduct Accusations

While she thought the request was “odd,” the new accuser said that she nonetheless agreed to meet, and that Haggis began to kiss her as they entered a back office.

“I just pulled away. He was just glaring at me and came at me again. I was really resisting,” the woman told the AP. “He said to me, ‘Do you really want to continue working?’ … And then he really forced himself on me. I was just numb. I didn’t know what to do.”

According to the woman, Haggis forced her to perform oral sex before pushing her to the floor and raping her.

Also Read: Dustin Hoffman Accusers Thank John Oliver for Grilling Actor on Sexual Misconduct Accusations

Another new accuser says that she met with Haggis in the late 2000s at his office in Los Angeles in order to pitch him on an idea for a television show. The woman, who said she was in her 30s at the time, said that Haggis told her that he and his wife had an agreement regarding extramarital relationships, then attempted to kiss her.

“I felt like my life could have been over,” the new accuser, who said she managed to escape the situation and drive away, added.

Haggis’ attorney denied the new allegations, asserting, “He didn’t rape anybody.”

Haggis also denied Breest’s accusations, and has filed his own suit against Breest, alleging that he was targeted by a $9 million extortion attempt.

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“Crash” director Paul Haggis, who was reportedly sued in December by a woman who accused him of rape, has now been accused of sexual misconduct by three more women — one of whom also accuses Haggis of rape — the Associated Press reports.

According to the AP, the three new accusers were prompted to come forward by the suit filed by publicist Haleigh Breest, who accused Haggis of raping her in 2013.

One of three additional women accusing Haggis said that the director forced her to perform oral sex prior to raping her, the report states.

A second new accuser told the AP that she managed to run away from Haggis after he told her, “I need to be inside you.”

The new accusers, who say that the alleged encounters took place between 1996 and 2015, said that Haggis lured them with the prospect of discussions of productions or a professional discussion. According to the AP, the new accusers unanimously said that Haggis initially attempted to kiss them; two accusers said that Haggis became more aggressive after they spurned his advances.

The woman accusing Haggis of rape, who said she was a 28-year-old publicist at the time of the alleged incident, said that the filmmaker called her to his office to review photos from a television show that he was producing in 1996.

While she thought the request was “odd,” the new accuser said that she nonetheless agreed to meet, and that Haggis began to kiss her as they entered a back office.

“I just pulled away. He was just glaring at me and came at me again. I was really resisting,” the woman told the AP. “He said to me, ‘Do you really want to continue working?’ … And then he really forced himself on me. I was just numb. I didn’t know what to do.”

According to the woman, Haggis forced her to perform oral sex before pushing her to the floor and raping her.

Another new accuser says that she met with Haggis in the late 2000s at his office in Los Angeles in order to pitch him on an idea for a television show. The woman, who said she was in her 30s at the time, said that Haggis told her that he and his wife had an agreement regarding extramarital relationships, then attempted to kiss her.

“I felt like my life could have been over,” the new accuser, who said she managed to escape the situation and drive away, added.

Haggis’ attorney denied the new allegations, asserting, “He didn’t rape anybody.”

Haggis also denied Breest’s accusations, and has filed his own suit against Breest, alleging that he was targeted by a $9 million extortion attempt.

Related stories from TheWrap:

Paul Haggis Accused of Rape in Lawsuit; Filmmaker Denies Claim in Separate Suit

Paul Haggis Asks Hollywood, 'Were People Covering for Pedophiles, Too?'

NBC Orders Medical Drama Pilot From Paul Haggis, 'Law & Order: SVU' Producer