Leah Remini on Leaving Scientology: 'I'm Not About to Shut Up'
Leah Remini says she's "not about to shut up" following her recent departure from Scientology.
As THR previously reported, the King of Queens star left the controversial organization after questioning its treatment of church members and the allegedly autocratic leadership of David Miscavige.
"I believe that people should be able to question things," Remini told People magazine on Saturday. "I believe that people should value family, and value friendships, and hold those things sacrosanct. That for me, that's what I'm about. It wouldn't matter what it was, simply because no one is going to tell me how I need to think, no one is going to tell me who I can, and cannot, talk to."
The Brooklyn-born Remini, 43, had been a member of the church for some three decades, following in the footsteps of her mother, who became a Scientologist in the '70s. Her husband, restaurateur Angelo Pagan, has also been a member. Remini and Pagan have a 9-year-old daughter, Sofia.
"We stand united, my family and I, and I think that says a lot about who we are, and what we're about. … It doesn't matter, it could be anything. I thought about the family being broken up for some other cause, and I'm not about to shut up."
In a series of stories on the religion practiced by Tom Cruise and John Travolta, among other celebrities, The Hollywood Reporter spoke with former members who provided insight on alleged attempts to label Nicole Kidman a "suppressive person" following her divorce from high-profile Scientologist Cruise and badmouth the actress to her two children with the actor in an apparent attempt to cut her out of their lives. Other members who left the church have been "excommunicated" from Scientology and their still-practicing family members encouraged to sever ties. (The church repeatedly and vigorously has denied these allegations and says former high-ranking members of the organization who now criticize it are disgruntled, unreliable and lacking credibility.)
Earlier this year, The Hollywood Reporter published an excerpt from Lawrence Wright's book Going Clear: Scientology, Hollywood and the Prison of Belief, and held a sold-out Q&A with the author in L.A., where he called upon the religion's "celebrity pitchmen" to use their "moral authority" to bring about reform in the church. (The church was highly critical of Wright's book and denied many of its assertions.)