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Scientology Leader’s Twin, Denise Gentile, Pleads Guilty to Lesser Charge, Pays Fines

Denise_Gentile2We just confirmed with a clerk at the Pinellas County, Florida circuit court that Denise Gentile — who was facing DUI and pot possession charges — pleaded guilty today to the lesser charge of reckless driving, and agreed to attend DUI school and pay several court costs and fines.

Last week, the Tampa Bay Times reported that on January 22, Gentile was arrested as she was driving her Dodge Durango erratically outside a rental property she owned. Under the driver’s seat was found a black vinyl bag with nine marijuana “blunts,” and Gentile was found to have a blood-alcohol level over the legal limit.

But more importantly, Times writer Joe Childs dug into the arrest’s background, painting a portrait of Gentile as a troubled property owner who had taken marijuana for rent from tenants running a drug house. That story ran on the front page of the daily newspaper that serves the area where Scientology has its spiritual headquarters in Clearwater, Florida — it was a publicity disaster for the church, whose leader, David Miscavige, is Denise Gentile’s twin brother.

According to the Pinellas County clerk’s website docket, the pot possession charge was closed and combined with the DUI charge, and the DUI case was reduced to reckless driving as Gentile pleaded guilty.

According to the docket, Gentile agreed to attend DUI school, she was assigned 50 hours of community service (which she could pay off at $500), and also had to pay $750 in court costs and a prosecutor’s fee of $50.

We asked a deputy clerk about a notation in the docket of “adjudication withheld,” and she told us it meant that “you end up without a prosecution on your record.”


Previously, in Childs’ story, he had reported that her attorney refused to say who was paying Gentile’s legal costs. But apparently, she got her money’s worth.


Posted by Tony Ortega on July 8, 2013 at 16:15

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