February 23, 2015
Stephanie S. Abrutyn, Esq.
Vice President and Senior Counsel
Litigation and Anti-Piracy
Home Box Office, Inc.
Re: Going Clear & Catherine Fraser
Dear Ms. Abrutyn:
I write on behalf of Catherine Fraser regarding false and defamatory statements made about her in Alex Gibney and HBO’s “documentary” Going Clear (referred to as “the film”).
I am aware that the Church and its defamation counsel has repeatedly demanded to be informed of the allegations in the film and to be provided an opportunity to put forward individuals with relevant information. Catherine Fraser had important information and was rebuffed when she traveled to New York to present herself to Mr. Gibney and HBO to be interviewed. In an act of arrogance unmatched in my experience, Gibney and HBO refused to see or speak with her before premiering the film—obviously to protect the false assertions in the film by derogating evidence disproving that theme.
Having now seen the film, I saw that Ms. Fraser was featured in the film with the false and defamatory statement that she was held against her will, let out to speak on a nationally televised news program, that her statements were not her own and were “scripted” by her Church and that she was then returned to said “prison camp” which happens to be a 500-acre property that houses the Church’s film studio. Ms. Fraser may be the most visible individual at Golden Era Productions, holding the position of Director of Public Affairs, involved in daily meetings with members of the community, lawyers, vendors, tourists, government officials and the media. She held this position during the filming of the CNN show, as well as six years before and continuing to the present. If necessary, we can and will prove that in the time leading up to and after the CNN interview when allegedly “imprisoned,” Ms. Fraser met with hundreds of visitors at the facility and had meetings with hundreds of other persons and groups both at and outside the Church facility.
I find it hard to believe that Gibney legitimately credited the speculation of Michael Rinder about what happened to Ms. Fraser as a reportable fact, even though Rinder was already long gone from the Church at the time of the CNN show—yet utterly ignored and refused to speak with Ms. Fraser. That demonstrates reckless disregard for the truth.
With manifest bias, Mr. Gibney gives three of the former husbands—Marty Rathbun, Mike Rinder and Tom De Vocht—a unique forum to denigrate the statements of their former wives and Ms. Fraser, immediately after their statements on CNN which were copied into the film. Such statements as they relate to Ms. Fraser individually and these woman collectively are utterly false.
Ms. Fraser was not held against her will before or after the CNN show. She was not coerced to provide her interview to Anderson Cooper. Rinder’s claims are demonstrable lies.
Note well that inclusion of these false statements and Ms. Fraser’s highly recognizable face substantially undermines her ability to do her job. It asserts that she made knowing misrepresentations on the CNN show, that she is imprisoned at Golden Era Productions, and that she is only let out to do her work under duress and coercion. If the film is aired as planned by HBO, it will be seen by persons in the community with whom she does or will in the future, interact. In short, not only do the film’s assertions and innuendo harm her personally, they undermine her professionally.
Ms. Fraser demands you delete these offensive assertions from the film before it is further distributed, which make her out to be one who has made false statements on national television, and to be some sort of subjugated and imprisoned victim. The assertions are false. Take them out of the film or she will pursue legal redress.
Kendrick L. Moxon
cc: Jay Ward Brown