Since they spent nine seasons filming King of Queens together, it’s no wonder Kevin James and Leah Remini are close friends. But even though that was during the time that Remini was still a practicing Scientologist, she just revealed in a new interview that she never tried to get James to convert to the church, even though Scientology officials pushed her to do so.
“They always tried to get me to, [asking] ‘Why is he not in? Why have you not promoted it to him?’ I was like, ‘Because he’s Catholic. He doesn’t want anything to do with it,'” Remini said in the new issue of People magazine. “They let it go after a while, but usually you’d be expected to recruit, especially with somebody you work with for nine years.” For the record, the church denies ever encouraging Remini to try to recruit James into its ranks.
Remini was raised by a family of Scientologists and practiced the controversial religion herself until 2013, when she left and became one of the most outspoken critics of the church in Hollywood. She’s written books and created TV shows to discredit the church’s teachings and reveal what she says are abuses within its ranks. “I’m finally at peace knowing who I am and who I want to be,” she told People. “I just want to be happy — and I want to help people.”
Meanwhile, the church has worked hard to silence and discredit her. It created an entire website dedicated to slamming her A&E docuseries Scientology and the Aftermath, and they tell People that her attacks against the church are only motivated by money.
“It is Remini who is the attacker,” a Scientology spokesperson wrote in a statement to the magazine. “Her whole anti-Scientology shtick was scripted and choreographed by her, casting herself in her drama as the ‘victim’ so she could cash in on her false narrative while savaging her friends and those who helped her most of her life.”
Now, Remini and James are working together again, but it’s not related to Scientology whatsoever. Instead, Remini is set to join James on his sitcom Kevin Can Wait this fall as a series regular.