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ShamWow pitchman and alleged hooker beater, born in Israel, former Scientologist

by Brad A. Greenberg

March 31, 2009 | 9:44 am

Who knew the ShamWow guy, seen after the jump saying “you’re gonna love my nuts,” was born in Israel? Not that surprising when learn that his name is not Vince the Pitchman but Vince Offer Shlomi.

Vince Offer was arrested last week for allegedly beating a prostitute to a pulp. Gawker did some digging and found that Offer also used to be a member of the Church of Scientology but got booted for making “The Underground Comedy Movie,” which, with an IMDB rating of 2.3 stars, has to be among of the worst movies ever.

Here’s what Gawker found:

But according to accounts of Offer’s 2004 complaint against Scientology, church bigwigs took a dim view of the project and allegedly launched a campaign to kick Offer out of the cult and discredit him. He was brought up on charges by a Scientology court—which apparently included a 14-year-old as one of its judges—and declared a criminal (the nature of the specific charges isn’t clear—a press release announcing the suit says the allegations were never actually presented to Offer; Gawker is working on obtaining a copy of the complaint). From the press release:

[T]he Scientology sub-organization that recruits and caters to celebrities “Celebrity Center International,” located in Hollywood and whose motto is “To Create a Safe Space for Artists,” according to Offer recruited dozens of his Scientology friends, associates and actors that worked on Underground Comedy, to write false and malicious reports against him. If individuals refused to write these reports, they were threatened with condemnation and punishment that could be lethal to their careers.

After being convicted, Offer became a persona-non-grata in the church. His business, which depended on Scientology connections, dried up, and he lost financing to complete the movie.

Less than two years later, in 1999, the church reversed itself on appeal and cleared Offer of any wrongdoing.

Offer sued the church in 2004 in “a quest to expose the human cruelty and destructive practices committed, still to this day, by the Church of Scientology’s leadership helmed by David Miscavage.” The suit was dismissed. Offer’s celebrity/notoriety, on the other hand, hasn’t skipped a beat.

(Hat tip: HolyWeblog)

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Since launching the blog in 2007, I’ve referred to myself as “a God-fearing Christian with devilishly good Jewish looks.” The description, I’d say, is an accurate one,...

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