Leah Remini is opening up about her decision to leave the Church of Scientology, saying she wanted to save her 9-year-old daughter from the rigors of the church’s auditing process.
Remini said her decision to leave Scientology did not come all at once, but was the end result of “dozens of influencing factors.” One of those was her realization that the church was causing her to neglect her family.
“In my house, it’s family first — but I was spending most of my time at the church,” Remini told Buzzfeed in a wide-ranging interview. “So, I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter.”
Leah Remini said she resented her own mother for spending more time in the church than home, but said her mother stood by her decision to leave the church.
“The fact my mother stood by me after all her years in the Church totally took away any resentment I may have been harboring. When it mattered the most, my mother was there for me,” Remini said. “It was the moment that erased all those days she wasn’t there. That moment proved to me she was with me. ‘Ride or Die.’ ”
Remini said her daughter Sofia was reaching the age when Scientologists begin auditing, a process that involves intensive and probing questions.
The decision has not been easy for Leah Remini. In an interview last year, she said that the decision has caused her to lose many friends:
“It’s hard. We lost friends who can no longer talk with us who are still with the organization. These are friends that we’ve had for dozens of years,” she said. “But I have great friends, other friends that are not in the church, who have stood by us. Our family is stronger, we’re together, and that’s all I can ask for.”
But Leah Remini has also found much support, including friend Jennifer Lopez who suggested she take up daily affirmations.