Remini has accused the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige of running a campaign to ruin her life and career.
LOS ANGELES (KABC) -- The judge overseeing actress Leah Remini's lawsuit against Scientology told everyone to take a "chill pill" as tensions rose during a hearing Tuesday on Scientology's first attempt at trying to get portions of her lawsuit thrown out.
Remini has accused the Church of Scientology and its leader David Miscavige of undertaking a "campaign to ruin and destroy her livelihood" after she publicly departed Scientology in 2013.
Remini alleges that she along with friends and family members have been stalked, surveilled, harassed and more by Scientology or its agents.
Scientology has argued it has a free speech right to call Remini, in their words, a bigot, racist, and an abusive, and say that she promotes hate speech. Because Remini is a public figure, there is a higher burden to prove defamation.
Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Randolph Hammock issued a tentative ruling on Scientology's special motion to strike portions of Remini's lawsuit on Friday, saying he was likely to dismiss most of the defamation claims against the church and leave most of the harassment claims in place.
But Hammock invited the attorneys to argue in court before finalizing his ruling.
Attorney Bill Forman did most of the arguing for Scientology, acknowledging, "There is no love lost between these parties."
For two and a half hours, Hammock went back and forth with Forman and the other attorneys over each paragraph at issue in the lawsuit, saying his preparation for the hearing was the hardest he had ever worked on a motion in his 15 years on the bench.
Ultimately, Hammock asked both sides for clarifications on some issues and they'll all return to court this Friday.
Although nothing is final until after Friday's arguments, Hammock found some of Scientology's posts or statements about Remini are either parody, or opinion, and protected by free speech.
One example is after Remini started hosting a game show, Scientology posted letters that read, in part, "What's next? A Game show 'hosted' by a KKK leader? Neo-Nazi Jeopardy."
"None of these are actionable," Hammock stated. "She's a Nazi, she condones child molestation or pedophilia, or all these nasty statements. None of them are actionable, right? Slapped out, but they're not very nice things to say about somebody, are they?"
Hammock also noted other claims Scientology made that accused Remini of failing to pay for her father's cancer treatment, which Hammock stated could be "actual malice," meaning Scientology potentially knew they were lying about Remini and did it anyway.
It is important to note that the standard of proof is significantly lower in these early court hearings, meaning that, for now, the judge said he accepts all proffered evidence as true if it meets a "minimal merit" standard.
On Friday, the judge will also take up Remini's request for a preliminary injunction against Scientology. Remini wants the court order to stop Scientology from harassing and stalking her while the lawsuit is going on.
Hammock told the parties he was leaning toward not issuing the preliminary injunction, but asked Remini's lawyer to bring any evidence that could show recent harassment.
"Show me the record of the last time they did anything nasty to your client that it needs to be enjoined," Hammock stated. "If I'm convinced there's an ongoing real pattern of harassment that's still going on to this day, then I'll reconsider."
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