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.”

News

in Entertainment

This weekend’s celebrity birthdays

Fresh
chappelle

Dave Chappelle, Marlee Matlin, and Scott Caan are among the celebs celebrating this weekend.

in National

Making headlines this week

sunflower

A look at the week's biggest newsmakers and the stories you won't soon forget.

in National

March, memorial service planned in embattled Missouri town

ferguson

National Guard troops are preparing to leave following two straight nights of relative calm after more than a week of racially-charged protests.

in Entertainment

Ashton Kutcher, Mariska Hargitay dominate TV paychecks

mariska

The annual Who Earns What countdown lists the paydays of your favorite television stars.

in Entertainment

‘Scandal’ star Columbus Short arrested

columbusshort

The actor has been arrested after missing two court appearances.