Leah Remini still has Ellen DeGeneres as a friend. The 43-year-old actress kicked off the season premiere of The Ellen DeGeneres Show on Monday, Sept. 9 on a serious note. Remini opened up to the talk show host about why she decided to leave the Church of Scientology in July, and how she's coping now.
"My mother got involved when we were very young, so it's all we ever really knew," the King of Queens alum, who was born and raised in the faith, explained. "But over time, my eyes opened and I could no longer be affiliated with the organization and my family felt the same, so we left."
"How are you?" DeGeneres asked. "I hear it's different than leaving another religion, so are you okay?"
"I'm okay," Remini said. "It's hard. We lost friends that can no longer talk to us who are still in the organization."
"Now, that is a thing?" DeGeneres inquired. "When you leave the church they can't talk to you and you can't talk to them?"
"Correct," Remini said. "And these are friends that we've had for dozens of years. But I have great friends, other friends that are not in the church, that have stood by us. Our family is stronger, we're together and that's all I can ask for."
"You have me," DeGeneres said, "I'm you're friend!"
Remini previously told Us Weekly that she plans on writing a tell-all memoir about the ordeal. "It will include my experiences, everything that's taboo to talk about," the former Talk cohost said in July. But the actress is also moving forward with her her career on the small screen. She is set to compete on Season 17 of Dancing With the Stars with professional partner Tony Dovolani; the ABC reality competition premieres on Sept. 16.