BIZARRE: Scientologist figure Tommy Davis accosts two Paul Haggis trial witnesses in Soho
The Underground Bunker has learned that an unusual scene played out on a corner in the New York City neighborhood of Soho at about noon yesterday.
Two women who had recently testified in the trial taking place between Crash director Paul Haggis and former publicist Haleigh Breest were walking down a street and were nearing Haggis’s apartment.
They were Haggis’s daughter Alissa and his ex-wife, actress Deborah Rennard. Both have taken the stand to defend Haggis in the civil lawsuit that will feature closing statements today. Breest, 36, is suing Haggis, 69, for allegedly raping her at his Soho apartment after a 2013 movie premiere. Haggis has testified that the encounter was a consensual one, and his attorneys have presented evidence that Haggis, a high-profile Scientology defector, has been the target of Scientology “Fair Game” retaliation campaigns.
On Sunday, we published portions of a deposition of a woman named Shawna Brakefield that was presented in the trial. The deposition suggested that former Scientology spokesman Tommy Davis had encouraged Brakefield to illegally access Screen Actors Guild files to gather blackmail material on Haggis after the director publicly left the church in 2009. And on Monday Leah Remini, the former Scientology celebrity whose A&E series Scientology and the Aftermath won two Emmy awards, testified in the trial by video link, saying that she personally witnessed Davis working with Scientology leader David Miscavige to target Haggis.
Deborah Rennard and Alissa Haggis both testified in the trial as character witnesses for Haggis, saying that the Academy Award-winning screenwriter and director was not the man being portrayed by Breest and four other women who say they were attacked by Haggis in incidents dating back to 1996.
As Rennard and Alissa rounded the corner in front of a restaurant yesterday, they walked by someone they seemed to recognize. As they were trying to figure out where they’d seen him, the man came up to them in an aggressive manner.
He was Tommy Davis, former Scientology spokesman.
Davis told them that he’d been following the trial closely, and that he was unhappy his name had been brought up in it.
To Alissa he reportedly said, “I always protected you and your sisters.”
Davis used a derogatory term about Shawna Brakefield, whose deposition had featured in the trial, and he denied that he would ever encourage someone to commit a felony, which Brakefield had claimed.
We’re told that Davis was animated and raised his voice, and that the two women were left shaken.
That Davis reportedly accosted two women who were witnesses in the trial, and the day before closing arguments were set to begin, seems astonishing.
We emailed Davis, called his phone number, and texted him asking him for comment. We’ll let you know if he gets back to us.
At one point, Rennard asked Davis if he was still in Scientology, and Davis replied that he was. This is consistent with what we reported nine years ago, that in a deposition Davis testified that he was on leave from Scientology’s “Sea Org” but he was still a member of the church.
We’ve been following developments from Davis for many years, and we are often asked about him. The son of Academy Award-nominated actress (and Scientologist) Anne Archer, Davis made quite an impression when he was Scientology’s most visible spokesman from around 2005 to 2011. But besides a spokesman, Davis was also an enforcer for Miscavige, something that has been documented numerous times. In 2011 at the Village Voice, we published a series of secretly taped audio recordings that captured Davis playing the heavy in order to intimidate a Scientologist about facing his family being ripped apart if he didn’t cut off contact with an enemy of the church. (In 2021, we republished that story at our own website.)
Mike Rinder, in his new book A Billion Years, also documents how Tommy Davis was used as an enforcer by Miscavige, notably when the two of them were tasked with following BBC journalist John Sweeney, an operation that resulted in Sweeney having an epic meltdown over Davis’s interference. Davis, as Scientology spokesman, had other notable collisions with such media figures as CNN’s John Roberts and ABC’s Martin Bashir before he finally collided in 2011 with Lawrence Wright of the New Yorker.
That February, the magazine published Wright’s profile of Paul Haggis, “The Apostate,” and we found evidence that Davis had lost his spokesman position soon after that article came out.
Davis turned up in Austin, where his then-wife Jessica Feshbach’s family had some property, and in 2013 Davis testified in the deposition that he was still a Scientologist.
The next year, in 2014, the Davises moved to Los Angeles as Tommy found work at billionaire real estate investor Tom Barrack’s Colony Capital. (Tommy’s father, William Davis, a wealthy real estate investor who died in 2015, was a close friend to Barrack). But then in February 2016 Tommy left his job working for Barrack and became “general manager North America” for Australian billionaire James Packer, helping to run Packer’s Hollywood studio, RatPac Entertainment.
Davis and Packer knew each other from Scientology. Packer had been brought into the church around the year 2001 by his friend Tom Cruise, and according to Steve Cannane’s excellent book on Australian Scientology, Fair Game, Packer left the church around the year 2006. A decade later, he hired Davis to help him run his movie studio. But then 2016 turned into a nightmare year for Packer as he had setbacks to his gambling empire, broke up with fiancée Mariah Carey, and his studio also took a bath on a Ben Affleck flop. Packer ended up bailing out of RatPac, and in that chaos Tommy left his job and went back to work for Barrack as a consultant. In May 2017, Tommy filed for divorce from Jessica, with whom he had two young daughters. Two years later he married Egyptian actress Maie Ibrahim in an elaborate ceremony in Morocco, and they subsequently welcomed a baby boy to the family.
Most recently, Davis was named as a witness in his boss Tom Barrack’s federal trial on illegal lobbying for the United Arab Emirates, a trial that ended in Barrack being acquitted.
Despite that good news for his boss, Davis himself was apparently unnerved by Leah Remini’s testimony in the Haggis trial on Monday.
We’re told that she gave a lot of detail about Davis, and about being in meetings with Davis and David Miscavige after Paul Haggis’s defection in 2009. (Remini herself defected from Scientology in 2013, news we broke at the Underground Bunker.) In her testimony, Remini added much more detail to Tommy Davis’s role in the retaliation campaigns than what Shawna Brakefield had testified to in her deposition.
It was apparently all too much for the former spokesman.
But to accost two witnesses in a ongoing trial on a Soho street? That’s unhinged.
We asked Leah Remini for her thoughts, and she sent us this statement:
It is no shock that professional con man and bully Tommy Davis stalked and brazenly accosted two former Scientologists on a New York City street. Sadly, Tommy Davis remains as mentally unstable and unhinged as when he was kicked out of the sea organization and removed from the ranks of David Miscavige's private army.
Tommy has a long history of offering a haven to criminals within Scientology. He has bullied, stalked, and harassed victims of Scientology, as well as stalking and harassing non-Scientologists who are considered threats to Scientology and David Miscavige.
Tommy is a slithery PR man, a serial cheater, a pathological liar, a chief enabler of Tom Cruise and David Miscavige, and an obstructer of justice.
Instead of using his time away from the Sea Organization to receive the mental health help he needs, I see that Tommy has chosen to double down on Scientology and David Miscavige. That means he has chosen to side with a totalitarian cult led by a psychopath that inflicts financial, emotional, physical, and psychological devastation on its members.
Tommy will one day regret his decisions when the truth of his criminal conduct is fully revealed.
On another note Tony, I wanted to thank you for your unwavering dedication in your unrelenting reporting on the crimes of Scientology. As an advocate for those without a platform to be heard, I am forever grateful for you.
Today at the Danny Masterson trial
We’re expecting a big day of testimony at the Danny Masterson trial. After finishing up with Det. Esther Myape, the prosecution said it plans to call Jane Doe 4 and then Jane Doe 1’s mother. We’ll be there with our comprehensive reports. And here is the short video message to our subscribers at the end of an eventful day in court. We’re releasing it to everyone this morning, and here’s also the version at our YouTube channel.
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