Who Is Michelle LeClair? New Details About The Scientologist Mega-Donor Who Was Disowned After Coming Out As Gay

She tried to come out as gay to a Scientology auditor.

Who is Michelle LeClair? Instagram

Who is Michelle LeClair? Former Scientologist Michelle LeClair's new memoir Perfectly Clear lays bare allegations that the controversial religion humiliated and persecuted her after she came out to the church as gay. Their treatment of her led her to leave the church even though she had donated millions of dollars to Scientology.

Her memoir reveals that when she first attempted to come out to one of Scientology's auditors, that person gave her things that church founder L. Ron Hubbard wrote that excoriated homosexuality“L. Ron Hubbard considered homosexuals and other ‘perverts’ as ‘evil, untrustworthy, a criminal. My hands trembled.’ “ LeClair writes in an excerpt of her memoir appearing in People. Let's take a look at all the details we know about Michelle LeClair and her explosive new book. 


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1. A Poster Girl for Scientology

Eight years ago, Michelle (Seward) LeClair was a poster girl for Scientology. She was wealthy, owned a successful insurance business, was president of the U.S. branch of the Scientology front group Youth for Human Rights International. 


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2. Where is she from?

Michelle LeClair grew up in Oklahoma. She moved to Los Angeles and became a member of the Church of Scientology. 


3. Thrown into turmoil

LeClair told People that her perfect life was thrown into turmoil when she came out as gay to the Church of Scientology. The second time she attempted to get the church to listen to what she was saying she had to "go around to all the members inside the church, confess to them what I was thinking, what I was doing. People would look at me in the face and say, ‘You are disgusting.’" She feared the church would punish her so she lied and said that she had never acted on her attraction to women.

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4. The church forced her to marry

In her memoir, LeClair admits that the church pressured her to get married. She married Sean Seward, a struggling actor. The couple had four children: 17-year-old Sage, 11-year-old Savannah, and 9-year-old twins Jadon and London. Her marriage soon ended. A bit later, she confessed her past attraction and dalliance with a girlfriend she had in high school. Her husband reported it to the church.

5. The aftermath 

After Sean Seward told the church about LeClair's past relationship with a woman, she was ordered to walk around the Scientology Celebrity Center in Hollywood asking members of the church to read and sign her confession. She needed to obtain 25 signatures to be allowed to rejoin the church. In her own words, "I was so mortified that, after 10 or 15 requests, I rant to the bathroom and sobbed."


6. She was still committed to the Church

Even after the humiliation of having to get members sign her confession, LeClair remained committed to Scientology. It was only after the church tried to force her to end a friendship and relationship with a homosexual music producer who was not a Scientologist named Tena Clark that her devotion to Scientolgy began to weaken. “The idea that the Church would deny me a friendship with such a sterling person simply because she wasn’t heterosexual or a Scientologist seemed ludicrous to me. I talked myself into believing that, because I was a top donor, my relationship with a woman would be tolerated, or at least ignored. I couldn’t have been more mistaken. My Scientology mentor outed me to the Church ethics department.”

7. The church attacked her

She left the church in 2011 and the church had the state of California go after her successful, multi-million life insurance business. The church called her business a Ponzi scheme. She was forced to close her business and pay out $1.3 million to more than 40 alleged victims. 


8. Her life today

Today, 45-year-old Michelle lives in Georgia with Tena Clark and her children. She is an inspirational speaker and advocate for women's justice reform. She is launching a beauty, home, and lifestyle brand called LeClair.


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Amy Lamare is a Los Angeles based freelance writer covering entertainment, pop culture, beauty, fashion, fitness, technology, and the intersection of technology, business, and philanthropy. She is deeply devoted to her chocolate Labrador and an avid long distance runner. You can find her on Instagram and Facebook.