Leah Remini Still Struggles with Guilt for Going to Therapy — Because She Says Scientology Opposes It

Four years after abruptly leaving the controversial church of Scientology, Leah Remini says she’s still adjusting.

“You rebuild slowly. It doesn’t happen overnight,” the actress, 47, says in the new issue of PEOPLE. “It’s a learning process; it’s changing the way you think.”

Indeed, Remini was in the church for more than 30 years before she walked away in 2013 with husband Angelo Pagán, 59, daughter Sofia, 13, and mother Vicki. And her post-Scientology life has been challenging.

The star has been seeing a therapist now for two years, which she says is difficult because of how her former church views psychiatry.

“I have that guilty conscience,” Remini says. “If I make the most minor transgression” of a Scientology rule, like being rude or losing her temper, “I call my therapist and go, ‘I should be punished for this; I need you to reprimand me.’ She’s like, ‘No, that’s not what therapy is.’ ”

“We really have no debate with a psychologist. We do have issues with psychiatrists who subject patients, especially children, to dangerous procedures and drugs,” a Scientology spokesperson wrote in a statement to PEOPLE.

Last year, Remini launched the Emmy-nominated A&E docu-series Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath. Now in its second season, the show follows Remini as she shares fellow ex-Scientologists’ stories, including allegations of abuse within the church.

“It is Remini who is the attacker,” the Scientology spokesperson wrote. “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.” (The Church’s full response is at leahreminiaftermath.com.)

For more on Leah Remini and her battle against Scientology, pick up the new issue of PEOPLE, on newsstands Friday

In addition to the A&E show, Remini will return to comedy this fall, reuniting with her King of Queens costar Kevin James in Kevin Can Wait on CBS Sept. 25. While she’s filming the show in her native New York City, her husband and daughter will stay in L.A. but make frequent visits to the east coast.

“If I didn’t have my family,” says Remini, “I don’t know what I would do.”


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Leah Remini Will Return To ‘Kevin Can Wait’ As Erinn Hayes Exits

Things just got weird for the women in Kevin James’ sitcom life. Erinn Hayes is out after one season of playing James’ wife on the successful show “Kevin Can Wait,” Variety reported over the weekend.

And Leah Remini, James’ wife from his previous comedy hit, “The King of Queens,” is back in.

Not as his spouse, mind you, but as his former partner on the police force. Remini reunited with James in the two-part Season 1 finale as undercover cop Vanessa Cellucci. The Hollywood Reporter reported earlier that Remini would return in that role as a regular next season.

As far as ratings were concerned, “Kevin Can Wait” didn’t appear to need any changes. According to Deadline, the CBS show finished the season as the No. 1 new comedy with 9.19 million total viewers and a 2.1 rating for adults aged 18 to 49.

Hayes didn’t reveal much in a farewell tweet. 

Sources told Variety that the change was not about her performance, but that the show was going in a different direction.

Under any circumstances, her on-screen chemistry with James would be tough to match the nine-season run of James and Remini on “King of Queens.”

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‘Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath’ Renewed at A&E

Leah Remini’s Scientology docuseries will not only be returning to A&E, but it’ll be getting an extra two episodes. Variety has confirmed that “Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath” has received a 10-episode Season 2 order. The network is looking for a summer debut. The series has been a boon for A&E, with critical praise… Read more »



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Leah Remini Tells All In New Memoir About Scientology

Actress Leah Remini announced this week that she will soon release a memoir about her 30 years as a member of the Church of Scientology. The book will be “bold, brash, and bravely confessional,” according to publisher Ballantine Books. Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology is set to arrive on Nov. 3.

Remini, who is best known her starring role on the long-running sitcom “King of Queens,” became a Scientologist as a child, but publicly left the Church in 2013 because she didn’t want her 9-year-old daughter, Sofia, to become indoctrinated in its precepts.

She revealed her plan to write a tell-all about her time in the Church soon after her departure, but details were scarce until this week. Now, thanks to Remini’s Twitter account, we even have a cover:

A number of books released in recent years — most notably Lawrence Wright’s Going Clear, which was adapted into an Emmy-winning HBO documentary — have thrown open the doors of the famously secretive Church of Scientology. One of the central figures in “Going Clear” was “Million Dollar Baby” screenwriter Paul Haggis, and the book describes the lengths to which the Church will go to keep its most famous members — especially Tom Cruise — in the fold. But Troublemaker will be the first book to reveal the perspective of one of Scientology’s many celebrity members in their own words. 

There’s no telling what she’ll say, though there’s certainly a good chance that much of it will paint the Church in a negative light. Remini has been a rather outspoken critic of Scientology over the past two years. At one point, she even filed a missing persons report for Shelly Miscavige, wife of David Miscavige, the head of the Church of Scientology, which the LAPD called “unfounded.”

The Church, for its part, sent The Huffington Post a statement slamming Remini’s book and behavior over the past couple years as a “pathetic quest to get publicity and seem relevant.”

“Ms. Remini needs to move on with life and stop obsessively blaming others for her problems, be it her former religion or those she has worked with professionally,” Scientology spokesperson Karin Pouw said. 

 The Church has a history of responding aggressively to criticism of its practices. Just this week, two movie theaters near the Scientology headquarters in Clearwater, Florida, canceled plans to show the film”Going Clear,” allegedly as a result of pressure mounted against them by the Church. 


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