Leah Remini opens up about her three decades in Scientology with her family and the decision to leave. The former ‘King of Queens’ star speaks out about how she came to the decision and what the consequences have been for her in the aftermath.
The 45-year-old Leah Remini is currently among the stars of TV Land’s “The Exes” and she made headlines in 2013 with her highly-publicized split from the Church of Scientology. Unlike fellow celebrities — such as Tom Cruise, Kirstie Alley, and John Travolta — who joined the church in adulthood, Remini had been with the church since she was a child. Her family converted to the church from Catholicism, and relocated from their Brooklyn, New York home to the church’s Clearwater, Florida compound.
Although she has given interviews in the past, she now opens up again in her new memoir which has a pointed and uncompromising title, ‘Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.’ She’s among a growing number of public figures who are speaking out about the controversial religion.
In an exclusive interview on ABC News’ ’20/20,’ she goes into far more detail than she has in previous interviews. She said, “The decision to leave is…you are giving up everything you’ve ever worked for your whole life. I feel that people need to understand. This has been my whole life and I want them to understand how it happens.” She went on to speak of the social isolation, saying, “And so as time goes time you start to lose touch with the real world the mindset becomes an us against them.”
Continuing, she singled out one of Scientology’s most well known members, Tom Cruise and shared her perspective as a former member of the church. She said, “Being critical of Tom Cruise is being critical of Scientology itself you work people. If you knew that Tom Cruise is watching this what we can say it and.
Remini also spoke about how her desire to protect her daughter,Sofia, gave her motivation to break away from the Church. She first explained how childhood inside the church was different from the societal norm. She said, “Because Scientologists view children as spiritual beings, you’re not treated as a kid. So you’re given a lot of responsibility. Your ego becomes extremely inflated.”
She continued, saying, “I didn’t want to raise my daughter in the church because from what I experienced and what I saw, the church becomes everything, your mother, your father, your everything. You are dependent on the church.
‘In 10 years, if I didn’t want to be connected to the church anymore, my own daughter would be taught to disconnect from me. I didn’t want to create that. I didn’t think that would be healthy for her.’
*Update: The full interview video has been added below. Watch Leah Remini speaking out on her decision to leave Scientology.
Pictures: PR Photos