Per some eagle-eyed monitoring of the Comal County, Texas District Court docket by blogger Tony Ortega, Remini has agreed to provide a deposition later this month in connection with a harassment lawsuit brought against the Church and leader David Miscavige by Monique Rathbun. The deposition is scheduled to be taken October 15 in Los Angeles. From Ortega’s post:
While watching the docket in Monique’s lawsuit, we noticed today a reference to a transaction fee for a subpoena that listed Remini’s name. We then called [her attorney Ray] Jeffrey, who confirmed that he had talked to the actress and that she had agreed to give the deposition — which is happening one day after Jeffrey is scheduled to depose former Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis in Austin.
Those lucky enough to have seen one of a handful of New York performances of Tom Leopold‘s one-man show A Comedy Writer Finds God already know the story. For the rest of us, thankfully, there is now this great article by Mark Pattison of the Catholic News Service.
The details of how Leopold, a veteran NYC-based TV comedy writer (Seinfeld, Cheers, The Muppet Show), came to recently ditch the Jewish faith in favor of Catholicism are rich and, as you can imagine given this believer’s background, richly told. It started, appropriately perhaps, against a desert backdrop:
“My daughter had this very serious, life-threatening eating disorder,” Leopold said. She was in treatment in Arizona, where the hospital would not release her until Christmas Day. On Christmas Eve, he recalled that he and his wife went to bed.
Where is Shelly? This question is a rallying cry for many of those questioning the operational side of the Church of Scientology and was also at the causal center of actress Leah Remini‘s recent defection from the ranks.
Although Church spokespersons vehemently deny the wife of David Miscavige is “missing” in any way, shape or form, they are about to face a whole new level of public curiosity. From Tony Ortega‘s Underground Bunker:
After speaking with the Los Angeles Police Department, we have confirmed that on Wednesday Remini filed a missing-person report for Scientology leader David Miscavige’s wife, Shelly Miscavige, who has not been seen in public in six years.
The words of support appear in this week’s Hollywood Reporter magazine and comes via Europe, where Haggis has been working on a project for the past year and a half.
There are a number of interesting tidbits here, including a Church spokesman denying to THR that they recently registered the website domain whoisleahremini.com. Meanwhile, in his letter, Haggis states that Leah Remini was the only high-profile Church of Scientology member to remain in contact with him after he left the religion in 2009. She was also, he recalls, very friendly to him at a school function a few months after his exit.
Haggis argues that Remini deserves our full admiration for her courageous questioning of CoS higher-ups. The writer-director also shares an absolute howler of an anecdote:
When I was leaving [Scientology] and was visited by waves of angry friends and a phalange of top Scientology executives, trying to convince me to tear up my letter and resign quietly, I made a similar mistake by insisting they look into the charges of abuse detailed by the Tampa Bay Times. I was working on a film about Martin Luther King Jr. at that moment and made the polite suggestion that even great leaders like Dr. King were human and fallible.
Two of the senior church leaders leaped to their feet and shouted at me, “How dare you compare a great man like David Miscavige to Martin Luther King!” I ended the meeting at that point, thanking them for coming.
As with almost all things Scientology/media related, it started with Tony Ortega. The former Village Voice EIC, now blogging at The Underground Bunker, was first to the Leah Remini defection story ahead of the New York Post, Hollywood Reporter and countless other outlets.
Today, Ortega revisits an even bigger CoS celebrity story – Tom Cruise’s deafening silence – in the form of a second open letter to the actor. He posted the first in February 2012, while still at the Voice, and today asks once again how the man with the million-dollar smile can tolerate the sanctioned environment of his billion-dollar spiritual leader:
You remember the stink that Leah raised at your wedding to Katie Holmes in 2006? Leah was surprised to see that your best man, Scientology leader David Miscavige, was there without his wife, Shelly. And when she asked about it, Tommy Davis told her, “You don’t have the f*cking rank to ask about Shelly…”
All the channels broke in this morning for extended coverage of Pope Benedict’s farewell. However, the stations were all taking network special reports. Not so at WPIX/Channel 11.
WPIX, which could have provided the “counterprogramming” by keeping Jerry Springer on the air, made a good choice. Channel 11, recognizing the historic nature of the pope’s resignation (first time is almost 600 years), had its own coverage.
Morning anchors Sukanya Krishnan and Frances Rivera led the special programming. They were joined on the couch by reporters Mary Murphy and Dan Mannarino, both of whom are headed to Rome for the Conclave of Cardinals next week to select the next pope.
Krishnan did make a faux pas as they came on the air just before 11 a.m. She said the pope was set to leave the Vatican at 5 p.m. Italian time and “11 p.m. our time.” Seconds later, the graphic on the screen made the correction.
Rivera also had hands in the blooper jar by saying, “Certainly, a monumentous day here. Historical day, unprecendented.”
Adding insight to the proceedings was Monsignor Kieran Harrington of the Diocese of Brooklyn.
Pope Benedict made the unprecedented decision to retire. It’s the first time since 1415 that a pope has resigned. It’s a busy time at the Vatican. Benedict will make his final appearance was pope Thursday, before the conclave of cardinals pick his successor.
With the even the slightest hint that New York’s own Cardinal Dolan, dare we say it, could become the next pope, starions are flocking to wait for the puff of smoke.
Among the stations sending correspondents is WCBS/Channel 2 as reporter Tony Aiello spends the rest of week Rome.
WNBC/Channel 4 will send anchor David Ushery, who previously covered the pope, returns to the Vatican for the Conclave of Cardinals that is expected to start next week.
WABC/Channel 7 weekend anchor Joe Torres will be in Rome. The station could not confirm, though, when he will begin to file reports.
On radio, veteran reporter Rich Lamb will make his way to Rome early next week for the Conclave.
WINS is sending Juliet Papa to cover the events at the Sistine Chapel. News director Ben Mevorach tells FishbowlNY, “She has traveled to Rome to cover the Pope on several other occasions for us, so she is well prepared and will bring listeners a very experienced perspective.”
NY1 reporter Vivian Lee is headed to Rome. She’ll cover the papal resignation Thursday. Lee will resume daily updates Sunday as the cardinals hold their Conclave to select the next pope.
Photo credit: biography.com