By Paul Van Welden (wikiportret.nl) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Paul Van Welden (wikiportret.nl) [CC BY-SA 4.0], via Wikimedia Commons

David Miscavige threatens legal action on his father’s book  Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me.

The Church of Scientology is known to file lawsuits against those who make false claims and intend to destroy the church’s reputation in media, but this time, it seems that things are a little more personal. Scientology leader David Miscavige is threatening to file a defamation suit against his father for his recent tell-all book.

Ron Miscavige will publish his memoir, entitled Ruthless: Scientology, My Son David Miscavige, and Me on May 3. However, the book’s planned U.K. published Silvertail Books received a letter from law firm Johnsons Solicitors, who specialize in defamation cases, threatening legal action should the publication go ahead.

Silvertail Books had planned to release the book on May 3, although that proposed release would now appear to be in dispute. In their letter, Johnsons also claimed to have sent a similar response to St. Martin’s Press, the book’s U.S. publisher. However, they also admit that there would appear to be less chance of success against Silvertail, writing: "As you are no doubt aware, U.K. and Irish libel laws offer more extensive protection to individuals, and indeed religious organizations, than those in the U.S." This is in reference to the 2013 change in U.K. libel law, which was amended to defend matters of public interest, which many would agree that Ron Miscavige’s book falls under. 

While the Church of Scientology has pursued countless defamation suits successfully in the U.S., it remains to be seen whether or not this U.K. case would find in favor of the Church. Nevertheless, Johnsons stated that they plan to help their client “seek the protection of UK/Irish defamation and other laws” should the publication take place, meaning that the Miscavige family could soon be facing a showdown in the courtroom.

Ron Miscavige will appear this Friday on ABC’s 20/20.

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