When Leah Remini left the Church of Scientology in June 2013, many wondered why the actress had renounced the religion after more than 30 years of practice. Now we know that one of the driving forces behind her departure was her 9-year-old daughter, Sofia.
"She was getting to the age where the acclimation into the Church would have to start,” "The Exes" star, 43, told BuzzFeed of the process, which starts with auditing, a procedure that begins with a series of probing questions.
Remini began to reflect on her own childhood, which saw her uprooted from her middle-class life in Brooklyn to a "roach-infested motel with six other girls off a freeway in Clearwater, [Florida]," as her mother, Vicki, became involved with Scientology. "I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home," Remini explained. "My mom thought she was doing something good; she thought she was helping the planet. That's what the Church tells you."
The former "King of Queens" star said she wasn't even practicing her personal beliefs. "I was saying 'family first,' but I wasn't showing that. I didn't like the message that sent my daughter."
Remini left the Church after she expressed her concerns to her friends and her pleas for change fell on deaf ears. "We had a chance to make a change from within, but they didn't want to," Remini said. "That showed me they didn't actually care, which went against everything I thought we stood for. They only cared that their lives would be disrupted if they stood with me. They didn't care about doing the right thing. That showed me everything the Church taught me was a lie."
This isn't the first time Remini has slammed the controversial church. In July 2013, Remini filed a missing person report in search of Shelly (Michele) Miscavige, the wife of Scientology leader David Miscavige. The case was later dropped, as lawyers for Miscavige said she was "not missing" but was working for the Church.