Scientology's Stars Rally Against a $39 Mil Award - 1985-06-10
On May 17, in the Multnomah County Court House across the street, a state circuit court jury had dealt the 35-year-old sect a stunning setback. Finding that former Scientologist Julie Christofferson Titchbourne, 27, had been defrauded by the church and its founder, L. Ron Hubbard, the jurors awarded her $39 million in punitive damages.
The verdict sparked protest rallies that brought the stars out, day and night, in Portland. An impressive contingent of Hollywood Scientologists came to town to speak up for their faith. John Travolta flew in at midnight in his private jet and held a press conference to extol the church's virtues. Actress Karen Black sang I Shall Be Released and singer Frank Stallone sang a tearful America. Later musicians Edgar Winter, Chick Corea and Nicky Hopkins jammed with lesser-known talent.