The actress, who grew up as a Scientologist, but left the controversial church in 2013, was speaking to the veteran TV host while promoting her A&E docuseries, Scientology and the Aftermath.
“He wouldn’t say anything to me, because he thinks I’m the devil,” she said when asked what Cruise would say to her these days. “He honestly believes … Tom and most Scientologists, all Scientologists, are taught to believe that people like me are literally the devil, that we mean them harm.”
The former King of Queens star, who has become an outspoken critic of the organization, interviews former Scientologists and uncovers allegations of abuse and rape in her new series. But Remini, 46, told King that Cruise is a “true believer,” although she added he is “well aware” the church defrauds people.
“Tom is very well aware of what is Scientology, truthfully,” she told King. “He is very aware that it’s an organization that is defrauding people out of their lives. But in his heart, I believe he believes it.”
“Tom is a fully dedicated and loyal Scientologist, absolutely,” she continued, but said he had been “lied to.” She added: “I could say that about myself at that time. I didn’t want to look, I didn’t want to believe that what I’ve been involved in my whole life was a lie, that it was damaging and hurting people.”
The actress also discussed Cruise and tackled questions about Scientology in a candid Reddit AMA last month.
“To the ‘Church,’ yes,” she wrote when asked if Cruise is really a “Messiah” to Scientologists. “Parishioners believe that he is singlehandedly changing the planet because that is what the ‘Church’ is telling them.” Remini also revealed on Reddit she had handed over “millions” to the church while a member.
Of the actresses’ allegations, the Church of Scientology told Us in a statement: “Leah Remini is doing this show for the money, just as she profited from her book. In addition, she attempted to extort the Church by first demanding $500,000, followed by an additional $1 million, because the Church invoked its First Amendment right to respond to her false claims with the truth. This shows the extent Leah Remini is willing to go to in order to distort the truth about Scientology. For the Church’s perspective and the truth about the bullies she now supports, go to www.leahreminiaftermath.com.”
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath airs on A&E Tuesdays at 10 p.m. ET.
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