She was a member of the Church of Scientology since she was just a little girl, but last year, Leah Remini decided she wanted out. In a new interview with Buzzfeed, the Dancing With the Stars contestant explained the thought process behind her decision.
“I don’t want to be known as this bitter ex-Scientologist,” she made clear. “I’m not trying to bash anybody and I’m not trying to be controversial. I just want people to know the truth.”
That truth, she said, has a lot to do with her 9-year-old daughter Sofia. “She was getting to the age where the acclimation to the Church would have to start,” the actress explained. “I started thinking of my own childhood and how I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home.” The “Church First” mantra also didn’t help. “In my house, it’s family first — but I was spending most of my time at the Church,” she added. “So I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent to my daughter.”
Her decision was affirmed when she realized her friends from the Church had no intentions of standing by her. “We had a chance to make a change from within, but they didn’t want to,” she revealed. “That showed me they didn’t actually care, which went against everything I thought we stood for. They only cared that their lives would be disrupted if they stood with me. They didn’t care about doing the right thing. That showed me everything the Church taught me was a lie.”
One person who did stand by her, though, was her mother, which Leah said took away any resentment she had for her in the past. Following her decision to leave, the King of Queens star competed on Dancing With the Stars, and is now acting on TV Land’s The Exes. “This is one of the best jobs I’ve ever had,” she gushed. “When you get the applause or the joke lands and you get the laugh, you can’t match that feeling. This business that I love is the drug I never took.”