Actress Leah Remini criticized after explaining why she left Scientology
Richard Shotwell, Associated Press
Actress Leah Remini, best known as Kevin James' wife on "The King of Queens," has not had an easy life after leaving the Church of Scientology.
Remini, whom current Scientologist Kirstie Alley called a "bigot" because of Remini's prior comments about Scientology, came under fire from the church after Buzzfeed published an interview with her last week.
"It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former faith as a publicity stunt by rewriting her history with it, including omitting that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her ethical lapses," said Karin Pouw, a Scientology spokesperson, in a statement to PEOPLE.
Remini told Buzzfeed she left Scientology in order to protect her 9-year-old daughter.
"I started thinking of my own childhood and how I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home,” Remini said in Buzzfeed's article. "It’s funny; somehow my father, the guy who left his kids and never paid child support, was excluded from my resentment and I grew up resenting my mother for not being home to make food, like all my friends’ moms were. But my mom thought she was doing something good; she thought she was helping the planet. That’s what the church tells you."
“In my house, it’s family first — but I was spending most of my time at the church,” Remini added in her Buzzfeed interview. "So, I was saying 'family first,' but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter."
Remini said that leaving her religion behind was difficult: "It's hard and we've lost friends," she told Ellen DeGeneres.
However, the star's life may be improving soon: She will have 12 half-hour episodes of her own reality show on TLC, according to USA Today.
Despite Remini's troubles with cruel comments from former friends and Scientology spokespeople, she tries to not become a "bitter ex-Scientologist."
"I’m not trying to bash anybody and I’m not trying to be controversial," she said in Buzzfeed's article. "I just want people to know the truth."
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