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

The best April Fools’ Day pranks by companies

pacmanmaps

Google Panda, the Samsung smart knife, and more: Because even corporate America likes to pull one over on us.

in Music

Kenny Rogers plans another ‘farewell’ tour

kennyrogers

The country crooner is saying goodbye to another country - planning his final tour of South Africa.

in Music, Entertainment

Rihanna isn’t dating Leonardo DiCaprio … she swears

rihanna

The "Diamonds" hitmaker and the actor have been spotted at several events together, but she swears she's "too busy" to date.

in Sports, Viral Videos

WATCH: Puppies predict the Final Four

16-overlay

It's a totally unscientific, but completely adorable, way to predict the winner of the NCAA Men's Basketball Championship.

in Music

Jo Dee Messina pens mom-centered advice book

jodeemessina

The singer has teamed up with the author of the popular "Chicken Soup for the Soul" series.