Ex-Scientology Actor Attacks Ex-Scientology Plaintiff in TMZ Story Clearly Not Planted by Scientology
After spending more than a week frozen in a mixture of glycol and alcohol, this thetan is ready to re-enter the volcano! We're going to pierce the WALL OF FIRE! (Um, actually, it was a case of walking pneumonia, but whatever. It's good to be back to work.)
Marty Rathbun and Jason Beghe
And what a day to come back to. First, we will deal with the bizarro story that is so incomplete on facts, we expect it nearly to turn around 180 degrees once some additional details leak out.
TMZ is reporting that actor Jason Beghe, a man we have written about extensively here before, is being "criminally investigated" for attacking a guy named Daniel Montalvo who was cutting weeds on his Malibu property.
According to the incident report, Daniel Montalvo was using a weed wacker on Beghe's Malibu property last week when the device malfunctioned. Cops tell us ... a frustrated Montalvo "mistreated the device." That pissed off Beghe, who then got into a loud confrontation with Montalvo which became physical.
TMZ has nothing else about what happened or any larger context. We're left with the impression that Beghe is some unhinged actor who got pushy with the Mexican help on his ranch or something.
It makes you wonder why TMZ didn't provide a little more background, such as this little nugget: Montalvo has been living under Beghe's protection at the Malibu ranch since Montalvo's dramatic escape and continuous battle with the Church of Scientology.
How do you leave a detail like that out of a story?
Beghe himself, as our readers know well, is himself not only a former Scientologist, but one who made a dramatic exit from the organization, denouncing it as a scam. He estimated that he'd put in about a million dollars over the dozen years he'd been a member.
Montalvo, meanwhile, grew up in Scientology, and as we've reported before, he made his own dramatic escape from the strange group. Since then, under Beghe's protection from the church's process servers and operatives, Montalvo filed a major child-labor practices lawsuit against Scientology with the help of attorney Kit Winter.
We have reached out to Winter for help on the strange TMZ story, which seems to make little sense. Beghe, meanwhile, said he could not comment on the TMZ story at this time.
We also reached Marty Rathbun, who is in Los Angeles for Montalvo's other legal matters. "The church is making some really stupid moves," he said in regard to the TMZ story, but said he couldn't say more.
Our other sources close to the Montalvo legal matter tell us that no, Montalvo has not suddenly turned against Beghe, despite what the TMZ story seems to imply.
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Tony Ortega is the editor-in-chief of The Village Voice. Since 1995, he's been writing about Scientology at several publications. Among his other stories about L. Ron Hubbard's organization:
The Larry Wollersheim Saga -- Scientology Finally Pays For Its Fraud
The Tory Bezazian (Christman) Story -- How the Internet Saved A Scientologist From Herself
The Jason Beghe Defection -- A Scientology Celebrity Goes Rogue
The Robert Cipriano Case -- A Hellacious Example of Fair Game
The Paul Haggis Ultimatum -- The 'Crash' Director Tells Scientology to Shove It
The Marc Headley Escape -- 'Tom Cruise Told Me to Talk to a Bottle'
The Aaron Saxton Accusation -- Australia turns up the heat on Scientology
The Jefferson Hawkins Stipulation -- Scientology's former PR genius comes clean
The Daniel Montalvo Double-Cross -- Scientology lures a young defector into a trap
A Church Myth Debunked -- Scientology and Proposition 8
Daniel Montalvo Strikes Back -- Scientology Hit with Stunning Child-Labor Lawsuits
When Scientologists Attack -- The Marty Rathbun Intimidation
A Scientologist Excommunicated -- The Michael Fairman SP Declaration
The Richard Leiby Operation -- Investigating a reporter's divorce to shut him up