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Former Church Member Files Harassment Lawsuit Against Church Of Scientology

LOS ANGELES (CBSLA) — A woman behind legal action against the Church of Scientology says she was harassed by the organization after leaving the church and appearing in the "Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath" series.

Attorneys for the unidentified woman filed a lawsuit Tuesday in Los Angeles Superior Court.

According to the woman, referred to as Jane Doe, the Church of Scientology harassed her over her work in the series.

Court records show that the woman was born into Scientology in 1979 and eventually left the church in 2016 by hiding in the trunk of a car leaving a church compound in San Jacinto.

According to the suit, the woman fell out of favor with the church's leader David Miscavige and was placed in what is called "the hole," or solitary confinement before being forced to do physical and manual labor.

The woman reportedly returned to the church the following year in efforts to maintain some connection with her family but left the church again in 2017, where she started her work with Remini.

After appearing on the show, the Church of Scientology "copyrighted and published a hate website against Jane Doe, Ms. Remini and almost anyone else who was featured on the show," according to the court papers. "... Defendants used this page to disseminate false, defamatory and inflammatory information about Jane Doe," the filing stated.

According to the filing, the website "features untruthful and damaging blog posts, articles and videos dedicated to attacking Jane Doe's personal and professional reputation, with complete and utter disregard for the truth."

The filing also alleges that defendants stalked, surveilled and followed Jane Doe stating, "Beginning in 2017 through June of 2018, defendants and their agents have followed Jane Doe while she was driving. On more than one occasion, Jane Doe has been forced to change her route in an effort to curtail defendant's surveillance efforts."

The Church of Scientology released a statement to The Hollywood Reporter stating, "The Church of Scientology International has not received the complaint, but from what we have seen in the press, this is another shameful publicity stunt by Leah Remini and one of her employees."

The alleged victim is seeking unspecified damages for being held captive and for physical and emotional abuse.

(© Copyright 2019 CBS Broadcasting Inc. All Rights Reserved. City News Service contributed to this report.)

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