Leah Remini gets emotional in the first trailer for her upcoming A&E docuseries, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath, which takes on the controversial religion she grew up in before leaving in 2013.
“My whole life I was a very dedicated Scientologist,” the 46-year-old King of Queens actress says in the preview clip. “I didn’t want to find out what I’d done was a lie.”
In the trailer, Remini sits down with a number of former Scientologists to discuss their experiences as believers and then ex-followers of one of the most controversial modern religions.
“Something inside of me was saying, ‘Get them out of this thing,’” the actress said, later adding, “Fight for your family, fight for your daughter, your sons. … Wake up.”
At one point in the preview, Remini teared up as she listened to one woman’s allegations of sexual assault within the church. The woman claims she was sexually abused at the hands of a boss — and says the church insisted that she keep the incident quiet.
In a statement to Entertainment Tonight, Remini explained that she created the eight-part docuseries to share “the truth about Scientology.” “Truth born out of very personal experiences,” she said. “Truth that is shocking, things I did not expect to find when I embarked on the journey of making these shows.”
“Even though I had been a member of the church for a long time, I was stunned by some of the things I learned,” Remini continued in her statement. “There is a lot more to this story than anyone knows. And this series is breaking ground in bringing that information to light.”
Remini left Scientology in 2013 after being a member of the religion for more than 30 years, a decision that caused her to be ostracized by current Scientologists. She published a tell-all about her experience in the fall of 2015, titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood, and received further backlash from the church, which denied Remini’s claims and called her a “shallow, spoiled individual with a sense of entitlement.”
In a statement to Us Weekly, a rep for the Church of Scientology said, "Desperate for attention with an acting career stuck in a nearly decade-long tailspin, Leah Remini needs to move on with her life. Instead, she seeks publicity by maliciously spreading lies about the Church using the same handful of bitter zealots who were kicked out years ago for chronic dishonesty and corruption and whose false claims the Church refuted years ago, including through judicial decisions. Please see our full statement at www.scientologynews.org/leah-remini."
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath premieres on Tuesday, November 29, at 10 p.m. ET on A&E.
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