the Church of Scientology
since 1968
ALEX GIBNEY & HBOThe Prison of Propaganda

Letter from Ashley Epstein to Richard Plepler

February 12, 2015

Richard R. Plepler
Chairman and Chief Executive Officer
Home Box Office, Inc (HBO)


Re: Unauthorized use of my 8-year-old ****** daughter in your film

Mr. Plepler:

It has come to my attention that your upcoming HBO film “Going Clear” includes two photos of my 8-year-old daughter ****** ******.

This callous insensitivity by HBO and Alex Gibney toward a ****** child is thoroughly disgusting. You are trampling on her privacy and the privacy of my family so you can arrogantly exploit her. This is outrageous and unnecessary.

No one from HBO or the production asked my permission to use my daughter’s image, which I would have never granted. (I am told I am also in photos, and also was never asked by anyone for my permission to use my image either.)

My understanding is that HBO has been selling tickets to see this film and that it will be on television in a few weeks. That means that you are making money displaying the image of my ****** child. Common decency (and the law, too, I believe) dictates that the director or producer should have requested permission. If you air your film with this photo, it will show you think it is fine to toss aside any privacy enjoyed by ****** children and their families if it means you can make a buck.

Let me clearly state that HBO does not have my permission to publicly use and profit from the use of our images and names, and I insist that our names and images be removed immediately from the film “Going Clear”.

Thank you in advance for your prompt attention to this matter.



Ashley Epstein

CC: Sheila Nevins
CC: Alex Gibney

The Church of Scientology is committed to free speech. However, free speech is not a free pass to broadcast or publish false information. We have all seen what happens when facts are not checked or those being reported on are not given a chance to respond. The Church is taking a resolute stand against such actions—both on its own behalf and for others who either cannot or will not do so.