Actress Leah Remini has become a loud voice against Scientology. She has been speaking out against the church on her show, Scientology and the Aftermath, and has done so in her memoir Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. In a new interview, Leah revealed that the Church of Scientology tried to get her to convert her King of Queens co-star Kevin James – but she refused.
“They always tried to get me to, [asking] ‘Why is he not in? Why have you not promoted it to him?” Remini revealed in this week’s issue of People. “Because he’s Catholic. He doesn’t want anything to do with it. They let it go after a while, but usually, you’d be expected to recruit, especially with somebody you work with for nine years.”
The church has since denied Remini’s claims. They claim that the actress is using their name in her show and her book.
“We have nothing to do with Kevin James and never attempted to ‘recruit’ him to the Church,” a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology said in a written statement to People. “How does Leah Remini bring this up now after she wrote an entire book and didn’t mention it? Remini does it to get attention. Indeed, the only thing we know about Kevin James is that Remini would repeatedly tell the Church that he was a bully and we tried to counsel her to be more open and communicate so they could get along better.”
In 2013, Remini left the controversial religion after over 30 years. In the new issue of People, she’s talking about how she’s moving on with the help of her family and friends. She’s also fighting back at the church’s attempts to silence her.
“I’m finally at peace knowing who I am and who I want to be,” Remini said. “I just want to be happy – and I want to help people.”
Remini was raised by a family of Scientologists. She practiced the religion until 2013 until she left and became one of the most outspoken critics of the church. She’s written several books and created documentaries to reveal the church’s teachings and highlight the alleged abuse that takes place within its ranks.
Kevin James has been a proud Catholic all his life. He’s not afraid to speak out about his faith. Growing up, his father instilled the value of living a God-centered life and attending church regularly. To this day, James regularly attends church service and practices prayer. He has no problem talking about his faith and how it affects his Hollywood career.
“I am involved in my faith, it becomes more and more – you know, it becomes a difficult, difficult position,” James told Catholic News Service. “You have a platform and you don’t want to do anything that doesn’t glorify God in every way. I can’t play a priest in every film, either. You definitely want to have a positive message. I want to be able to sit and watch my movies with my children.”
Leah Remini and Kevin James are on TV together again. Remini will join James on his CBS sitcom Kevin Can Wait this fall as a regular.
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