Leah Remini of King of Queens fame opened up about her decision to leave the Church of Scientology in an interview published on Wednesday.
She had been in the Church of Scientology for over 30 years. Her decision to leave had to do with the well-being of her daughter Sofia, 9. Remini said that her daughter was nearing the age when her adaptation into the church would have to start.
Remini recalled how it was when her mother joined the church. She was barely 10 years old when her family moved into the church’s compound in Clearwater, Florida. It was her stepfather who convinced her mother to join the organization, but he never showed up after that.
Remini and her sisters were separated from their mother, who worked for the church and was “never home.” She came to resent her mother for not being able to take care of them. Remini said that her mother had the belief that she was “helping the planet—that’s what the church tells you.”
It was a life Remini did not want for her daughter. “In my house, it’s family first,” she said, “but I wasn’t showing that.” She calls herself a "hypocrite" for spending more time at the church instead of with her family.
Remini had expressed her desire to change the situation, but she said she was met with opposition. According to her, the church “Didn’t care about doing the right thing,” prompting her to comment that everything she had been taught by the church was a lie.
Her decision to leave resulted in an uproar. Actress Kirstie Alley who practices Scientology called Remini a bigot when she became a guest on The Howard Stern Show in December.
The Church of Scientology also responded to the remarks made by Remini. In their statement, they said they were not surprised that Leah Remini’s “insatiable craving for attention” and self-absorption would make her exploit Scientology as a “publicity stunt” and that she omitted saying she had been part of a program that would make her remain a Scientologist by choice.
Remini, according to the statement, was actually on the verge of being discharged from the church due to her ethical lapses.
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