Leah Remini Talks Tom Cruise, Church of Scientology on 20/20
Posted on October 31, 2015
Actress Leah Remini is the most high profile person to leave the Church of Scientology so far and she's got quite a lot to say. Her new book Troublemaker hits bookshelves next week in which she reveals the inside workings of the church and how criticism of Tom Cruise got her slapped with a $300,000 fine and sent off to Florida to be punished.
Remini's mother was a Scientologist and she joined the church as a child. She signed a billion year contract to be a part of the Sea Org for all of her lifetimes and future reincarnations. She left the Sea Org and became an actress in Los Angeles. When she landed in the hit sitcom King of Queens she moved up in the church hierarchy.
After 30 years in the church she started to get doubts when she saw how much influence Tom Cruise had in the religion. He and David Miscavige were ruining the church, in her opinion. Once she was asked to teach Tom and then girlfriend Katie Holmes how to salsa dance. When they kept making out during the visit, she joked they should get a room. Scientology minders wrote her up for the infraction and she had to endure auditing sessions due to her comment.
Things got worse after that. But it all came to a head in Italy at Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes' wedding. She dared to ask Miscavige where his missing wife Shelly was (a high church official, she hasn't been seen in public since August, 2007). No one would answer her. Leah also complained that they tried to separate her from her best friend Jennifer Lopez, in order to recruit Jennifer into the church. After the wedding Leah was fined $300,000 and sent off to the Clearwater, Florida, headquarters to be punished for 3-4 months. She had to call the wedding guests and apologize for her behavior. She had to sent them expensive apology gifts. They told her J.J. Abrams was especially offended by her behavior (which seems highly unlikely) and so she had to sent him a pricey gift to atone for her sins.
Katie Holmes wouldn't comment about the wedding or allegations she said Leah "ruined her wedding." But she did issue a statement to ABC News that said, "I regret having upset Leah in the past and wish her only the best in the future." Katie's not allowed to say much more, we're guessing, but it was a nice gesture.
The Church of Scientology denies all of Leah's claims as "not only untrue, but ridiculous and stupid." Here's a clip from the interview on ABC News 20/20 which aired last night:
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