Leah Remini's Battle With Scientology Through the Years: It's 'Truly Evil'
Telling her story. Leah Remini has been an outspoken critic of the Church of Scientology since she left the controversial religion in 2013. The actress was brought into the church as an 8-year-old after her mother converted. During a 2015 20/20 interview, Remini talked about her experience growing up as a Scientologist. “The mission is to save the planet and because Scientologists view children as spiritual beings, you’re not treated as a kid. You’re given a lot of responsibility, and so your ego becomes extremely inflated,” the King of Queens alum claimed to ABC News’ Dan Harris at the time. Remini’s decision to leave Scientology ultimately came down to her then-9-year-old daughter, Sofia. “She was getting to the age where the acclimations into the church would have to start,” the Old School actress told BuzzFeed in 2014, adding that she didn’t want to repeat her own mother’s mistakes. In order to view the video, please allow Manage Cookies “I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home. My mom thought she was doing something good; she thought she was helping the planet. That’s what the church tells you,” Remini explained. “I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter.” The New York native has never shied away from speaking publicly about her history with Scientology. In 2015, the organization fired back. “Given Leah Remini’s insatiable desire for attention, it comes as no surprise that for two years she has been incapable of moving on with her life and remains obsessed with shamelessly exploiting her former religion in a pathetic attempt to get publicity,” a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology told Us Weekly at the time. Despite the backlash, the Handsome actress didn’t stop talking about her experience. She penned a 2015 memoir titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology and produced the A&E docuseries Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. When the Emmy-winning series concluded in 2019 after three seasons, the Church of Scientology released a statement to Us denouncing the content. “Finally, A&E pulled the plug on Leah Remini’s hate machine,” the statement read, claiming the show was full of “lies, distortions and exhortations to hate and bigotry.” Although Remini told The Hollywood Reporter in 2019 that she wasn’t sure if making the docuseries helped her heal, she does feel a responsibility to speak out about her experiences — and about other members of the religion. When Laura Prepon left Scientology in 2021 without much fanfare, Remini was critical of how the That ‘70s Show alum handled her exit. “For those of us who were in the public eye and who were speaking on behalf of Scientology, getting people into Scientology, I feel that we have a responsibility to do the work when we find out that none of those things we were doing was not only [not] helpful, but damaging and very harmful to people’s lives,” the “Scientology: Fair Game” podcaster said during a September 2021 interview with Daily Blast Live. Sign up for Us Weekly's free, daily newsletter and never miss breaking news or exclusive stories about your favorite celebrities, TV shows and more! Scroll through for a timeline of Remini’s battle with the Church of Scientology over the years:
The most devious celebrity revenge stories
All of us have, at some low point in our lives, felt the burning desire to exact revenge on someone who has crossed us, and celebrities are no different. It could be an ex (we're looking at you, Shakira!), an entire publication, a corporation, organization, or broadcaster—no matter the size of the offender, there are more ways to get back at them than you can count! Usually when it comes to the desire for revenge, it's all about resisting the urge to go low, or else it's about picking the most ingenious low road you can find... Plus, with access to money, cameras, huge fan bases, and more, the last people you want to tick off are celebrities. Add that to the fact that these are highly creative people, and you've got a recipe for some of the most devious revenge stories you've ever heard. Curious? Click through to be impressed (and slightly concerned)!
Artists that wrote iconic songs in their teens
Songwriting is a renowned skill that very few artists master. Record labels pay millions for songwriters to craft catchy tunes for their artists. Indeed, most musicians who achieve fame from a young age usually have the music and lyrics written for them, but not all. It usually takes years to hone the craft of songwriting, but some artists had a gift for songwriting from the very beginning. Hayley Williams was just 17 years old by the time she had written, recorded, and released her first album with her pop-punk band Paramore. Their second album, 2007's 'Riot!,' was the defining record for a generation of teens, and its influence can still be felt today in the work of young artists like Olivia Rodrigo. The band took an extended break after releasing their last album, 'After Laughter,’ in 2017. Seven years later, they're finally back. 'This is Why' was released on Feb. 10 to the delight of Paramore stans everywhere. The album delves into the anxious and tentative return to life after the pandemic, while the world seems to be more unstable than ever. Williams has described it as the band's most political record to date. By the time these musicians had reached the age of 20, they had written some of the most iconic songs that we know and love. Click through to discover which artists wrote iconic songs in their teen years.
Cursed: The dark side of the Kennedy family
The Kennedy family tree is extensive, complex, and powerful. The first generation of 'celebrity' Kennedys was that of John F. Kennedy and his eight siblings, which included his brothers Robert and Ted who joined him in politics, and his sisters, Kathleen, Jean, and Rosemary. John F. Kennedy was first elected to the US House of Representatives in 1947, and since then there hasn’t been more than a two-year period where a Kennedy wasn't holding office. The Kennedys are leaders, politicians, ambassadors, captains of industry, philanthropists, and environmental activists. At the same time, they’re seen as reckless philanderers, drug abusers, scandal-mongers, and, perhaps, the victims of a curse. Click through the following gallery to see why the Kennedys have such a complicated reputation and why many believe them to be cursed.