In 2010, former Scientologist Michelle LeClair says her world was turned upside down when she left the church after allegedly facing persecution for coming out as gay.
In her new memoir, Perfectly Clear, the mother of four and self-described former “poster girl for Scientology” claims that she and her family were stalked and harassed by the church after she announced that she was defecting. The church denies her claims, calling them “delusional and paranoid.”
“From the moment I decided to publicly leave, my life unspooled as if I were in a suspense novel,” LeClair, 45, writes in an exclusive excerpt featured in this week’s issue of PEOPLE. “Strange cars idled at the curb by my home at all hours of the day. Men wearing dark glasses followed me to the grocery store, my kids’ school. My computer and my phone [were] hacked.”
In her book, LeClair also recalls her rise within Scientology after founding one of the nation’s most successful woman-owned life insurance firms, her realization (while married to a man) that she was a lesbian, and how the love of her life, partner Tena Clark, ultimately helped her break free.
LeClair, who says she donated an estimated $5 million to the church over the years, claims it targeted not only her family but also her livelihood in the wake of her defection.
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