King of Queens star Leah Remini plans to write tell-all Scientology memoir
US actress joined the controversial religion in the 1970s
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Monday 05 August 2013
An American actress who recently quit the Church of Scientology after more than 30 years as a parishioner has revealed she is planning to write a tell-all memoir.
Leah Remini told US Weekly the book would cover “everything that’s taboo to talk about”, though she didn’t specify how much she would reveal about the inner workings of Scientology, or her decision to leave.
The 43-year-old is thought to have been approached by several publishers and would undoubtedly have much to disclose. Best known for her starring role in the sitcom King of Queens, she joined the controversial religion in the 1970s and was formerly one of its most high-profile defenders. She rose to the position of “Operating Thetan Level Five” within the church and was friendly with top Scientologists such as Tom Cruise and the church’s leader, David Miscavige.
Last month, it was reported that Mr Miscavige was instrumental in driving Remini from the church. According to a blog by Mike Rinder, a former Scientology spokesman who is now one of its leading critics, Mr Miscavige implemented “heavy-handed efforts to force [Remini] into line” after she questioned why Mr Miscavige’s wife, Shelly, was not at the wedding of the Scientology stalwart Cruise to Katie Holmes in 2006. Remini was allegedly informed by another senior Scientologist: “You don’t have the... rank to ask about Shelly.”
The film director Paul Haggis, who quit the church in 2009, wrote an open letter praising Remini, which was published in the latest issue of The Hollywood Reporter. The actress, Haggis said, was one of only two Scientologists who had refused to “disconnect” from him after his departure.
Speaking to People magazine last week, Remini said “I believe that people should be able to question things. 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.”
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