Does Leah Remini Regret Joining Scientology?
The actress said she's "happy" she joined the church that she donated more than $3 million to over time.
Actress Leah Remini has been grabbing headlines this week with the recent release of Troublemaker, her Hollywood and Scientology tell-all. The book partly details Leah's experience as a member of Scientology, and later an outsider. But does Leah regret joining Scientology after everything she went through when she left the church?
"Regrets? No," Leah said during the Watch What Happens Live in response to a caller question. "I mean, I'm here now, and I wouldn't be here at this moment between these two wonderful people talking to you if not all of those things happened, so I'm happy. I'm happy that I'm here with experience."
During the episode, Andy Cohen had some follow-up questions about Troublemaker. First up, he wanted to know how much Leah ultimately donated to the Church of Scientology. "Millions," Leah told Andy before confirming that she had given more than $3 million to the church over time.
Leah also explained Scientology's stance on parishioners communicating with family members who have left the church, as it would pertain to Tom Cruise's daughter Suri if she decided to not follow the same religion as her dad. "The policy of the church is you can't be connected to someone who has committed a suppressive act, which I have. Katie [Holmes] has, per church policy," Leah told Andy. "So you can't be connected to that. You have to shun that particular person."
Speaking of Tom, Leah had a lot to say about the Hollywood star and famous member of the Church of Scientology. She clarified comments she made in Troublemaker about the way he treated people being "utterly shocking." "Well, because he appeared to have an enormous amount of power within the church," she said. "That's what I'm referring to, because knowing what happened to that parishioner if they stepped out of line in the church would be dealt with [by] the church. So knowing that you might have that kind of power and what that would cause somebody like me or just an average parishioner was great."
There's also a part in Troublemaker where Leah mentions Brooke Shields being on the plane to Tom's wedding, which may seem odd considering the fact that the two had a very public feud in 2005 over Brooke's use of antidepressants during her battle with postpartum depression. "I didn't really understand it, you know," said Leah, who also admitted that she "jumped on that bandwagon" against Brooke when she was still practicing Scientology. "But I was like, OK everybody who is a leader in their field is on this plane and at this wedding, so I just assumed we were just inviting everybody."
Andy also asked Leah why she didn't include much about John Travolta, who is also a well-known member of the Church of Scientology, in her book. "My dealings with John, he's a very sweet man, a very sweet man, and he loves the technology of Scientology," Leah explained. "Yes, I've met him a few times, and he's been lovely."