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 National, World

U.S. marks 70th anniversary of end of WWII

Fresh
13-overlay2

Sept. 2 marked 70 years since the war officially ended.

in National

U.S. police slayings raise pressure on officers at time of tension

Fresh
policeofficers

Experts caution that the number of police killed on duty this year is not out of the ordinary, and the reasons behind the deaths are a complicated mix of factors that go well beyond the current climate.

in Lifestyle

Your heart might be ‘older’ than you are

Fresh
23-overlay2

Three out of four U.S. adults have a predicted "heart age" that is older than they are, putting them at increased risk for heart attacks and strokes.

in National

U.S. Army to open elite Ranger School to all genders

Fresh
rangers

The U.S. Army said on Wednesday it would open its elite Ranger School to all soldiers regardless of gender, after two women made history last month by becoming the first to pass the grueling leadership course.

in Entertainment

Today in entertainment history: Sept. 3

kevinbaconkyrasedgwick

Here's a look at some of Hollywood's most memorable headlines.