Leah Remini on Leaving Scientology: "It's Not Just Something You Get Over"

People/May 19, 2015

It's been two years since Leah Remini announced that she was leaving the Church of Scientology, but she's still dealing with the fallout. In a new interview for Oprah Winfrey's Where Are They Now?, the King of Queens alum, 44, opens up about her decision to quit, saying she did it for her daughter, Sofia.

"My mother was in Scientology my whole life. Most people don't know that we were raised in it," she said, as seen in a clip from the episode. "I didn't decide to get into it — I was brought into it by my mom." 

Still, Remini was committed to the Church for more than three decades. "I don't think people know the amount of dedication it takes to be in this organization," she shared. "I mean it was every day, three-and-a-half hours minimum, seven days a week usually. You know, I'm working most of my time, and then the other time was spent at the church, so minimal time is really spent with your family."

The significance of that hit home while she was doing some Scientology coursework one day, and she realized she was missing an important moment with her daughter.

"I was at one of these hotels in Florida, and I saw my daughter swimming for the first time while I'm reading this thing," she recalled. "And a tear came down my face. And I was like, 'What am I doing?'"

The actress said she realized she was sending the same message to her daughter that her mother had sent to her — that the church was "more important" than them spending time together. "It was a culmination of things," she explained of why she left, "but that was a big one in my mind."

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