Taking off the kid gloves, Scientology lawyers put as much pressure as a quasi-church can create on a Florida judge to attempt to quash a $265 million lawsuit brought by ex-Scientologist Peter Letterese that names the church and film star Tom Cruise as complicit.
The Church, repped by attorney Allen Perlman and federal bankruptcy trustee attorney John Genovese, started by trying on Wednesday to appeal to federal Judge John K. Olson to strip Letterese of his longtime attorney, Charles Franken.
In his ruling on Scientology’s brief, Judge Olson claimed that Franken’s presence in the case would hurt Letterese’s company and should therefore be dismissed. Letterese contends that Judge Olson did not allege that any law nor any professional codes of ethics had been broken by Franken.
Though Letterese has contended that Cruise is running the church’s interest alongside Church leader David Miscavige, he cites documents that Scientology distributed that apparently did not deny Letterese’s contention. Letterese takes that as proof positive that Cruise is in charge of the worldwide operation.
Scientology reps could not be reached to comment on Letterese’s assertions.