A mix of emotions. Leah Remini took to Instagram on Sunday, September 22, to mourn the loss of her estranged father, whom she did not know died weeks ago, and penned a note about his involvement in the Church of Scientology.
The King of Queens alum, 49, shared a series of throwback pictures with her father, George Anthony Remini, alongside a lengthy caption that revealed her sister, Nicole Remini, was “contacted by a stranger” about his death.
“We had no idea that he had died a month ago. We weren’t aware that he had been sick leading up to his death,” Leah wrote. “A funeral came and went and none of us knew anything about it. We were not able to say goodbye. He was not able to redeem himself, to ask for forgiveness for his failures and hurts, to become a better man to those of us who couldn’t help but love him.”
The New York native went on to explain that fans who have read her book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, will “know my father and I had a difficult relationship, but I always forgave him with a daughter’s painfully endless love and hope.”
Leah, who has spoken openly about her experience with the Church of Scientology, then detailed her rocky past with her dad, sharing that she had “hoped for him to acknowledge who he had been and what he had done to us as his children.” She noted, “Regardless of his neglect and abuse, I had hoped to one day have some closure.”
The former Scientology and the Aftermath star shared that had she received an apology from her dad “that alone would have been healing in its own way.” But, despite her feelings, she “can’t help but grieve” and is upset that she is crying over a man who “didn’t ever” cry for her.
“I’m angry that the last chapter in our relationship was dictated by Scientology. Scientology took my dad in as a pawn against me and likely robbed him of any last ounce of heart that might have been left in him,” Leah continued. “I’m angry that Scientology found his personal weak spots and got him on board not with their beliefs but with their smear campaign against me. That was his last presence in my life. Knowing my father, after taking the offer from Scientology to betray me, he wouldn’t have thought that he could ever come back from that in our relationship. If he thought that, though, he would have been wrong. I would have forgiven him as I always did.”
She concluded her post: “The little girls inside of my sisters and me will never forgive Scientology for taking away our last chance to have the one thing we always wanted from our father… And that was for him to say ‘I’m sorry and I loved you.’”
The Second Act actress left the church in 2013 and has been an outspoken critic of its beliefs, even creating the Emmy-winning A&E docuseries to “share the shocking truth about Scientology.” She also used the show, which ended in August, as a way to give a voice to others who had similar experiences.
In response to Remini’s post on Sunday, a spokesperson for the Church of Scientology called her “beyond hypocritical” and denied that her father was ever “a member of the religion.”
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