News

Actress Leah Remini says ‘eyes opened’ to Scientology

Actress Leah Remini says ‘eyes opened’ to Scientology

Leah Remini Photo: Associated Press/Photo by Richard Shotwell/Invision/AP

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Leah Remini, one of the most prominent celebrities to leave the Church of Scientology, said on Monday that her family felt they could no longer belong to the church and had lost many friends because of the decision.

“Over time my eyes opened and I just could no longer be affiliated with the organization, and my family felt the same, so we left,” Remini told daytime talk show host Ellen DeGeneres on “Ellen,” offering a view into her rationale for leaving.

The 43-year-old actress best known for her role in the CBS television sitcom “The King of Queens” did not elaborate on why she broke from the church after some four decades.

“It was hard and we’ve lost friends that can no longer talk to us who are still in the organization,” added Remini, who will take part in the upcoming season of ABC’s celebrity reality competition “Dancing with the Stars.”

Remini is also planning to write a memoir about her life in which she was brought into the church as a child by her family.

In July, representatives for Remini confirmed that she had left the church founded by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1954. The church counts actors like John Travolta and Tom Cruise among its members.

Followers of Scientology believe humans are immortal beings whose experience extends beyond one lifetime. Critics of the church describe it as a cult that harasses people who try and quit, a criticism the movement rejects.

The New York Post said in July that Remini left the church after coming under special scrutiny when she asked about the whereabouts of church leader David Miscavige’s wife in 2006.

The actress had also filed a missing person report with Los Angeles police for Shelly Miscavige, but authorities closed their inquiry in August, saying it had been “unfounded.”

The church has called allegations that Shelly Miscavige is missing “harassment” and a “publicity stunt cooked up by a small band of unemployed fanatics who live on the fringe of the Internet.”

Recent Headlines

in Entertainment, Sports

Ride LeBron’s charity roller coaster

Fresh
lebronjames

Sixty-four people anted up around $10,000 for the NBA star's charity, and the privilege of getting the first ride on a new roller coaster at Cedar Point.

in Music

Sia launches game inspired by her infamous hair

Fresh
sia

The singer/songwriter is using her trademark blonde bob wig for a good cause.

in Entertainment

Reese Witherspoon launches lifestyle website with grandma’s coconut cake

Fresh
reesewitherspoon

The actress' DraperJames.com venture opened for business on Tuesday.

in Entertainment, Viral Videos

WATCH: ‘Harry Caray’ visits David Letterman

Fresh
11-overlay

Will Ferrell brings back his infamous "SNL" impression of the beloved Chicago Cubs broadcaster.

in Music

Miley Cyrus recruits famous friends for charity jam session

Fresh
Miley Cyrus arrives at the 57th annual Grammy Awards at the Staples Center on Sunday, Feb. 8, 2015, in Los Angeles.

The "Wrecking Ball" hitmaker recruited Joan Jett and Ariana Grande to rock out in her backyard for a series of videos aimed at raising funds for her new charity, the Happy Hippy Foundation.