Unlike many of her famous Hollywood friends, Leah Remini never dabbled in Scientology as a way to cope with fame or stumbled into it during her twenties as she searched for meaning. The actress spent most of her life inside the Church after her mother took a shining to the religion in the 1970s. Over the past few years, she’s been one of the religion’s most vocal and effective unpaid spokesmen, but her decades long affiliation with the Church has officially come to an end.
Remini hasn’t offered any public reasons for why she decided to turn her back on the faith she supported so vehemently for so many years, but the King of Queens actress did release a statement thanking her fans and members of the media for standing by her.
Here’s the actual quote, as per The Hollywood Reporter…
"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."
Given her penchant for speaking her mind, it’s entirely possible Remini will eventually air her dirty laundry in public, but until then, we’ll just have to rely on the whispers of ex-Scientologist journalists whose sources are apparently in the know. For example: Tony Ortega. He’s got a pretty pointed theory on what happened.
Apparently, Ortega’s sources have told him the friction between Remini and the Church began at Tom Cruise’s wedding. She reportedly asked why David Miscavige’s wife Shelly wasn’t in attendance, and she was basically told that information was on a need to know basis. Given her personality, that didn’t sit so well with Remini, and as Miscavige’s wife basically disappeared (she allegedly hasn’t been seen in public since 2007), the rift allegedly intensified to the point she actually filled out an accusatory Knowledge Report about Miscavige and several Church higherups.
Obviously, that’s an incredibly scandalous story, but since everything about the Church of Scientology isn’t exactly open or forward, there’s really no telling what the hell actually happened. It’s entirely possible Remini just had some personal issues with some random people or she read a pamphlet and got excited about converting to Catholicism. Either way, her exodus is utterly fascinating and far more surprising than other high profile departures like Katie Holmes and Nicole Kidman.
Ordinarily when a celebrity leaves organized religion, he or she is widely vilified by some segments of society. It’s a pretty straightforward commentary on the public’s view of Scientology that Remini has been almost uniformly praised for her decision. Regardless of the details, it seems likely that positive mojo will continue.
We’ll keep you updated. Until then, try and play nice with the parishoners in your own house of worship.
Update: Since publication, a spokesman for the Church of Scientology reached out to Cinema Blend and offered the following statement...
The Church respects the privacy of parishioners and has no further comment.