News

Leah Remini leaves Church of Scientology

Leah Remini leaves Church of Scientology

Leah Remini is leaving Scientology after "years of 'interrogations' and 'thought modification.'" Photo: WENN

LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – Actress Leah Remini has severed ties with the Church of Scientology, a source with knowledge of her decision said on Thursday, making her one of the most high-profile members to quit.

Remini, best known for her role as Carrie Heffernan in the CBS sitcom “King of Queens,” issued a statement following press reports that she had decided to leave the church.

“I wish to share my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for the overwhelming positive response I have received from the media, my colleagues, and fans from around the world. I am truly grateful and thankful for all your support,” Remini said.

She did not address Scientology directly, but the source told Reuters that Remini’s statement was her confirmation that she had left the church.

The New York Post broke the story early Thursday that Remini was leaving the Church of Scientology after “being subjected to years of ‘interrogations’ and ‘thought modification’ for questioning leader David Miscavige’s rule,” citing an unnamed source.

Remini’s representatives would not comment on the New York Post article. Representatives for the Church of Scientology did not immediately respond to a request for comment.

SCIENTOLOGY AND CELEBRITIES

The actress, 43, has spoken publicly in the past about being a member of the Church of Scientology, which was founded in 1954 by science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard and has attracted several Hollywood stars including Tom Cruise and John Travolta.

The organization describes its practices as a religion and believes man is an immortal being whose experience extends beyond one lifetime.

But some observers – including media mogul Rupert Murdoch – liken it to a cult. Critics think the group coerces followers to think like they do, and they accuse Scientologists of harassing people who seek to quit.

The church came under fresh scrutiny last year when actress Katie Holmes suddenly divorced Cruise, with whom she has one daughter. Although there was speculation that Holmes had rejected Scientology, neither she nor Cruise addressed a split over the faith.

In an April 2001 interview with CNN, Remini said she “finds solace in her steadfast practice of Scientology,” and jumped to the defense of the religion.

“If somebody is going to get turned off about something because of what they read or heard, then that person’s not smart enough to even enter a church,” Remini said to CNN.

Other notable former Scientology members include director Paul Haggis, who spoke out in detail about his experiences with the church in a New Yorker article in February 2011.

Recent Headlines

1 hour ago in National

Takata recall could more than double in size

Fresh
takata16125303396828

Tens of millions of air bag inflators could be added to what is already the biggest auto recall in American history.

2 hours ago in Sports

Deflategate: Brady gets more time

tombrady276076991807

Lawyers for the New England Patriots quarterback have been given another two weeks to appeal his "Deflategate" suspension.

2 hours ago in Sports

Kentucky Bourbon Trail offers a lesson for reviving racing’s fans

derby16124571363511

Some of the best-known farms in Kentucky's scenic horse country are borrowing from another of the state's contributions to the good life — bourbon whiskey distilleries — in an effort to win new recruits to an aging and shrinking fan base.

2 hours ago in National

School safety: Drops in bullying, violent crime on campus

schoolsafety16124794280762

The latest government snapshot of school crime paints a picture of safer schools, with declines in violent crime, bullying and harassment because of sexual orientation.

2 hours ago in Entertainment

Dan Aykroyd adapting ‘Blues Brothers’ for animated series

danaykroyd391647313397

The animated project will also feature the band's original songs, as well as soul and blues classics, and new material recorded specially for the series, which Aykroyd will help to develop alongside "Saturday Night Live" writer Anne Beatts.