Leah Remini, who made headlines when she decided to leave the Church of Scientology, is chipper after receiving news that her reality TV show has been renewed. Called It’s All Relative, the show received a 14-episode pick-up from TLC, reported Deadline.
In addition to the actress, Leah Remini: It’s All Relative stars husband Angelo, mom Vicki, step-dad George, and daughter Sofia, who is 10-years-old. Others in the reality TV show are sister Shannon, brother-in-law William, and a team of helpers, ranging from a nanny to an assistant to a security man who doubles as a handyman.
But while Leah is upbeat about her show, her relationship with Scientology remains a hot button topic, she told BuzzFeed.
“I don’t want to be known as this bitter, ex-Scientologist,” insisted Leah.
However, the actress is adamant that she wants to be honest about what she regards as the fact versus the fiction about the church.
“I’m not trying to bash anybody and I’m not trying to be controversial. I just want people to know the truth.”
Remini left the church in 2013, and her former friend and Scientology church member Kirstie Alley attacked her in an interview with Howard Stern.
Talking with Ellen DeGeneres, Leah fought back, reported the Wrap.
“My mother got involved when we were very young, so it’s all we really ever knew,” recalled Remini about growing up in the Church of Scientology. “But over time, my eyes opened and I could no longer be affiliated with the organization … It’s hard and we’ve lost friends.”
But Kirstie denied Leah’s claims when she talked with Stern.
“First of all, I just want to everyone to know I have hundreds of friends and people that I know that have come into Scientology and left Scientology. It is not true that you cannot [depart the church]… You’re not shunned, you’re not chased. All that stuff’s bulls**t.”
In addition to maintaining friendships, Kirstie succeeded in transforming her “Scientology diet” products into a Jenny Craig-affiliated product line, as the Inquisitr reported.
She lost more than 50 pounds, using a combination of the diet program and exercise.
However, although Alley attempted to succeed first with her own diet company, called Organic Liaison, it reportedly suffered from associations with Scientology, according to the Daily Beast.
A former Scientology church member said that she detected an association between Scientology and Kristie’s products. Alley became outraged when she was directly asked about that alleged link during a televised interview.
“Bulls**t,” retorted Kirstie in a rapidly bleeped response.
Scientology has become known for its list of celebrity members, with Kelly Preston, John Travolta, and Tom Cruise among them.
Most recently, in terms of publicized departures from the church, Cruise fought with now ex-wife Katie Holmes over their daughter, Suri Cruise, and his desire to raise her in the Church of Scientology, according to the Huffington Post.
His admission came during a deposition, when he was questioned about Katie’s decision to divorce him. Specifically asked if her departure was motivated by her desire to shield Suri from the church, Tom became furious.
“[That’s] offensive, there is no need to protect my daughter from my religion,” he first responded. “Did she say that? That was one of the assertions, yes.”
In addition, Tom revealed that Suri had stopped practicing Scientology. Under the rules of that church, Suri is categorized as a “Suppressive Person.” Like Leah, this means being immediately ex-communicated from church members, even if they are in the same family.
[Photo by Toby Canham/Getty Images]