The Church of Scientology has one less celebrity among its ranks: Leah Remini. After the New York Post's Page Six reported that the King of Queens actress, 43, had made a "dramatic break" from the talked-about religion connected to Tom Cruise and other stars, she confirmed her departure in a statement to Us Weekly.
"I wish to share my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for the overwhelming positive response I have received from the media, my colleagues, and from fans around the world," Remini says. "I am truly grateful and thankful for all your support."
Page Six's story alleges that the former Talk co-host had questioned and objected to many common practices within the Church, and criticized its leader, David Miscavige -- and as a result, had been subjected to many years of "interrogations" and "thought modifications."
"She is stepping back from a regime she thinks is corrupt," a source is quoted as saying in Page Six. Specifically, Remini had "questioned the validity of excommunication of people," the source says. "She thinks no religion should tear apart a family or abuse someone under the umbrella of 'religion.'"
Remini's skepticism supposedly began, of all places, at the 2006 wedding of Cruise and Katie Holmes in Italy -- where Remini asked about the whereabouts of David Miscavige's wife, Shelly, who, subsequently, has reportedly not been seen in public since 2007. (The Church of Scientology denies that Shelly Miscavige is missing and tells Us that "any reports that she is missing are false.")
After a Church official supposedly scolded her, Remini was then "put through interrogations and blacklisted" and endured five years of "thought modification," the Page Six source says. "It's not about wanting or not wanting to do Scientology," the source continues in Page Six's story. "The issue is that [Miscavige] is taking down this church and hurting people and families.”
The first report of Remini's departure and disagreements with the Church -- including the incident at Tom Cruise's wedding -- appeared on Tony Ortega's Scientology blog on July 8.
A rep for the Church of Scientology tells Us Weekly of Page Six's story: "The Church respects the privacy of parishioners and has no comment about any individual Church member."