While Damian Fought for His Life, Ortega Exploited Tragedy to Attack His Religion

Hearing of Damian’s near-fatal hit-and-run, Tony Ortega seized on the tragedy to smear the young Scientologist’s religion and friends that were helping him as he struggled to live.


I was in the hospital fighting for my life. I had a 104-degree fever. The doctors didn’t know if I was going to live another day. I just lost one leg. They literally told me I was going to lose another leg. And the entire—it seemed like the entire world was rallying around me.

I had friends, I had family, I had people I didn’t even know by the hundreds and thousands were supporting and rooting for me. And this was international news. And the news was the despicableness of how this person could have hit me and dragged me a quarter of a mile underneath a car and just left me for dead on the freeway.

And this blogger—I don’t even know what to call him. This person, Tony Ortega, was taking this and twisting it, twisting what happened to me and twisting the fact that I was—should have been dead and using it to spread hate about me, about my religion, about my friends.

And it—it doesn’t—it’s not even something I can even understand. Like, I understand people have hate—but this?! To take something as tragic and as—I actually get just shaky just thinking about this right now—to take something as tragic as what happened to me where I should not have lived, and then to use that to spread hate is beyond despicable.