When Leah Remini left Scientology in 2013, she made it her mission to expose the religion for what she claims is abuse and intimidation of its former members. As a result, she says she's been forced to abandon friendships with fellow celebrities like Katie Holmes — and if she doesn't, there will be a personal risk to Holmes and her family.
According to E! News, Remini opened up about Holmes and how leaving the Church of Scientology has affected her life in a cover story for the fall issue of Lapalme magazine (not available online). As the host of Scientology and the Aftermath on A&E, Remini uses her 30-plus years of experience in the church to drive her investigation into its alleged abuse and harassment of former members and executives, who share their stories with her in the docuseries.
She told Lapalme, "I keep wondering — why haven't Katie Holmes or Nicole Kidman spoken out? I assume they were forced to sign prohibitive documents."
Both Holmes and Kidman are exes of noted Scientologist Tom Cruise. According to Remini, Holmes is not allowed to speak with her now that she has left the church, or Holmes will face dire consequences. "Trust me, Katie's not allowed to have a meal with me, and we used to be close friends," Remini told Lapalme, as reported by E! News. "She could lose custody of Suri. It's quite sick, really."
Unfortunately, there's no way to verify Remini's claims about Holmes or these alleged repercussions, but they are distressing. She also reportedly told Lapalme that all former members are "harassed constantly" by the church, especially her.
"Members of the Church go to my mother's restaurant, confront my little sister and my stepkids in San Francisco, trying to intimidate us," Remini said. "These abusive scare tactics are what they call a religion!"
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Thank you to everyone at the @televisionacad for this nomination. Thank you to our dedicated team. And an astronomical thank you to our contributors who were brave enough to tell their stories of the vicious and destructive doctrine of the Church of Scientology. To our fellow nominees…we are all motivated, when creating our respective shows, to share stories for the people who felt their stories weren’t shared. From VICE-HBO, StarTalk with Neil deGrasse Tyson, David Letterman to Anthony Bourdain we all felt a duty to give light to people from all walks of life. Bourdain once said, “Without… a willingness to ask questions and try new things, we shall surely become static, repetitive, and moribund.” To Anthony and his team, a huge congrats for your well-deserved nomination, to his fans and those who loved him, we send our heartfelt condolences, and may he Rest In Peace. #Emmys #ScientologyTheAftermath
A spokesperson for the Church of Scientology told E! News in a statement that Remini's claims are illegitimate: "While we would prefer to ignore yet another of Leah Remini's over-the-top rants aimed at getting attention, she unfortunately continues to incite waves of anti-religious hate crimes. Ms. Remini's incessant hate speech has required increased security and law enforcement resources spent to protect lives she puts at risk. Ms. Remini's ridiculous rants are unending, and the myths and tales she and her co-producer spread are growing more bizarre by the day."
In addition to hosting Scientology and the Aftermath, which won an Emmy in 2017 despite the Church of Scientology's attempts to have A&E pull the show (or at least convince advertisers to boycott), Remini recently signed a deal with the network to produce an exposé on Jehovah's Witnesses, another controversial religion. She also has plans to look into cults like NXIVM.