Leah Remini criticises Scientology, Tom Cruise and discusses Katie Holmes' alleged involvement in controversial Church

The actress makes a number of allegations about her time within the Church in an explosive interview

Heather Saul
Saturday 31 October 2015 15:41
Leah Remini
Leah Remini

Leah Remini has discussed Tom Cruise and claimed she was reported by his ex-wife, the actress Katie Holmes, for disrupting their wedding in an extensive interview about her life as a Scientologist.

The King of Queens actress was a devoted Scientologist for more than 30 years before announcing her departure from the Church in 2013.

She spoke to ABC 20/20 about her decision to sever ties with Scientology ahead of the release of her memoir, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.

Remini was introduced to Scientology as a young child by her mother Vicki Marshell and was raised as a member along with her sisters. Her mother and husband both left the Church with Remini.

Scientology was established by the science fiction writer L. Ron Hubbard in 1953. The Church believes in immortality through reincarnation. Members also believe children are spiritual entities contained within young bodies, and Remini claims she was given similar responsibilities to adults because of this.

She claimed she was forced to carry out manual labour, such as working in a laundry room or on an industrial sander after her mother enrolled the family in the high-ranking Sea Org order.

She said her disillusionment with the Church took hold in 2006 at the wedding of Cruise and Holmes.

Remini suggested the Church had hopes of recruiting Jennifer Lopez, who was married to the singer Mark Antony at the time, and encouraged Remini to invite the pair to Cruise’s wedding.

Prior to this, Remini claims to have been sent to Cruise’s home to teach him salsa dancing. When she arrived, he was reportedly there with Holmes, who he had just entered into a relationship with, and two Scientology officials.

Remini claims he was kissing Holmes, prompting her to say, "'Hey, get a freaking room.' And well, I was written up for that, and I had to go into session for it.”

Remini then voiced her criticisms of Cruise to members on a number of occasions, including over his notorious sofa jumping moment on Oprah and his disproving comments about the actress Brooke Shields using anti-depressants. “I’m saying, ‘I don’t think he’s becoming of a Scientologist, jumping on couches, and attacking Matt Lauer… and attacking Brooke Shields,’” Remini said. “Like… ‘What the hell is this guy doing?’ … we need to rein it in, we need to stop all this, and he just needs to be an actor.”

Remini claimed Cruise had overwhelming influence over the church, and her alleged criticisms were “immediately dealt with”, “Being critical of Tom Cruise is being critical of Scientology itself […] you are evil,” she added.

After the wedding, Remini told ABC she was disappointed to hear a number of Scientologists had filed reports about her behaviour, describing her as rude and loud, and accusing her of “basically destroying the wedding”.

Remini also read out a ‘knowledge report’ she claims was filed by Holmes, who allegedly wrote: "I was dismayed at the behaviour of Leah Remini during the events leading up to our wedding ... At the wedding, the behaviour as a guest, a friend ... was very upsetting.’”

Remini says this alleged incident led to her being sent for “reprogramming” at the Sea Org building in Florida.

Holmes, who divorced Cruise in 2012, did not confirm or deny writing the knowledge report, but told ABC: “I regret having upset Leah in the past and wish her only the best in the future.”

Remini claimed members often reported negative behaviour through knowledge reports, even about family members and friends. “I wrote Angelo [her husband] up all the time,” she said.

The Church denounced Remini as “a bitter former member” and a “professional anti-Scientologist” in a statement. It dismissed every single claim made by Remini about Cruise’s wedding as false, “ridiculous” and “stupid”.

In a statement, it said: “Sadly, bitterness and anger are common threads through Ms. Remini’s life. Rather than take responsibility for self-inflicted problems, she is quick to blame others. When her firing from The Talk erupted into a public embarrassment for her in 2012, we tried to help pick her up off the floor. But she treated everyone around her in a degrading, bullying manner. Her behavior was intolerable.

“Remini knows the truth she conveniently rewrites in her revisionist history. The real story is that she desperately tried to remain a Scientologist in 2013, knowing full well she was on the verge of being expelled for refusing to abide by the high level of ethics and decency Scientologists are expected to maintain.

“Her repeated ethical lapses and callous treatment of others led to an ecclesiastical review which resulted in her being expelled. She now regurgitates the tired myths the Church has repeatedly debunked, circulated by the same tiny clique of expelled former staffers bitter at having lost the positions they enjoyed before their malfeasance and unethical conduct were uncovered.”

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