The Church of Scientology is attempting to clear the air about Going Clear. After the documentary premiered at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival on Sunday, Jan. 25, reviews of the movie started popping up online, detailing some of the most startling bombshells (among them, the claim that famed Scientologist Tom Cruise had a wiretap put on then-wife Nicole Kidman's phone). In response, the Church issued a statement denouncing the film and its director, Alex Gibney.
"The accusations made in the film are entirely false and alleged without ever asking the Church," the statement reads. (Us Weekly received the statement in an email after movie critic and deputy editor Mara Reinstein's review was posted.)
"As we stated in our New York Times ad on Jan. 16, Alex Gibney's film is Rolling Stone/University of Virginia redux," the statement continues. "The Church is committed to free speech. However, free speech is not a free pass to broadcast or publish false information."
The Church claims that they were denied the opportunity to set the record straight with Gibney, who based the documentary on Lawrence Wright's 2013 book of the same name.
"Despite repeated requests over three months, Mr. Gibney and HBO refused to provide the Church with any of the allegations in the film so it could respond. Had Mr. Gibney given us any of these allegations, he would have been told the facts," the Church asserts. "But Gibney refused to speak with any of the 25 Church representatives, former spouses and children of their sources who flew to New York to meet and provide him and HBO with firsthand knowledge regarding assertions made in Mr. Wright's book as that was all we had to guess from."
The statement continues: "Gibney's sources are the usual collection of obsessive, disgruntled former Church members kicked out as long as 30 years ago for malfeasance, who have a documented history of making up lies about the Church for money. We invite you to view our complete statement, correspondence, and documented facts at freedommag.org/hbo."
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