Police: Leah Remini’s report on church leader’s wife ‘unfounded’
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The “Orange Is the New Black” star also addressed misconceptions people had about the church and its stance on homosexuality in a 2014 interview with SheKnows. (Richard Shotwell / Invision/AP)
The woman whom Leah Remini reportedly opened a missing person’s investigation for has been found, according to the Los Angeles Police Department, and the Church of Scientology has been infuriated by what it’s calling an “inexcusable distraction” caused by the inquiry.
The “King of Queens” actress, who publicly left the faith last month, is said to have filed a police report to prompt LAPD to investigate the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige, the wife of church leader David Miscavige, who reportedly had not been seen in public for six years.
LAPD sources said they located and spoke with Miscavige, LA Now reports. They emphasized that the case has been closed and the report allegedly filed by Remini was “unfounded.”
Police closed out the investigation Thursday night and said that they had “a face-to-face with Shelly,” but they did not indicate if they investigated whether the woman was being held against her will, according to TMZ.
Shelly Miscavige was said to have been transferred to a “secret compound near Lake Arrowhead in the mountains above Los Angeles,” according to blogger Tony Ortega, who runs the Scientology-centric blog the Underground Bunker. The place is the headquarters to the Church of Spiritual Technology and is home to about a dozen Scientologists who are “completely cut off from the outside world,” he wrote.
The church has denounced the former Village Voice editor on several occasions, but his reporting on the organization has been considered influential.
In an update to Ortega’s original post, he said he’d talked to an LAPD spokesman who told him that the case was closed. However, sources told Ortega that Remini had not been briefed on the case and had been told Thursday afternoon that it was still open. Ortega also has made the case that the church has a relationship with law enforcement agencies.
Remini’s interest in Shelly Miscavige reportedly dates back to the 2006 wedding of Katie Holmes to famous Scientologist Tom Cruise. When Remini, who was a guest at the nuptials, asked why Shelly Miscavige was not in attendance, she was rebuked by Tommy Davis, the former head of the Scientology Celebrity Centre, the New York Post reported. Davis reportedly scolded her and told her she didn’t have the “rank” to ask about Shelly. This incident was among the alleged reasons that Remini broke ties with the church.
A rep for the church has denounced Ortega, Remini and the latest reports regarding Shelly Miscavige.
“This ill-advised, ludicrous self-promotion and the media inquiries it generated caused an inexcusable distraction for the LAPD in an era when the time and resources of its officers are stretched thin each day,” a rep told The Times in an email.
“Creating this unnecessary burden for law enforcement was even more irresponsible given the entire episode was nothing more than a publicity stunt for Ms. Remini, cooked up with unemployed, anti-religious zealots, such as Tony Ortega, who blog on the fringe of the Internet,” the statement said.
“Sadly, rather than move on with her life and career, Ms. Remini has aligned herself with a handful of untrustworthy, lunatic tabloid sources who obsessively harass the Church to advance their selfish agendas.”
Miscavige’s attorney said that she was “not missing” when news of the missing persons report surfaced.
“Any reports that she is missing are false,” the attorney told Us Weekly. “Mrs. Miscavige has been working nonstop in the Church, as she always has.”
Remini, who has said she’ll pen a tell-all memoir about late science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard’s controversial faith, has not publicly explained why she defected from the organization but said that “no one is going to tell me how I need to think, no one is going to tell me who I can, and cannot, talk to,” according to People.
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