Chester Bennington's Widow Breaks Her Silence

Leah Remini Talks Scientology Break, Tom Cruise Incidents

"This is some crazy shit" actress tells '20/20' of the religion's upper-level secrets


Leah Remini detailed her split from Scientology, the "crazy shit" the religion revolves around and being "written up" for criticizing Tom Cruise in an explosive new interview with 20/20. The King of Queens actress left Scientology in 2013 after three decades – and millions of dollars – spent following the religion, and in the ensuing years Remini has become one of the Church of Scientology's biggest critics, penning the upcoming book Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology.

The actress revealed that one of her breaking points was when she reached one of the religion's higher levels and was taught key Church secrets and their history of the universe. "It was some galactic confederation," Remini said. "There was a war and there was a volcano and they bodied, you know, they took the spirits of people and they encased them into something, into a volcano, blew them up and then those spirits are now inside of you, on you, in you, like you are made up of these things." Remini thought, "This is some crazy shit" but remained a Scientologist.

Another rift resulted from a pair of incidents involving the actress and Tom Cruise and his then-girlfriend Katie Holmes. Upon being invited to Cruise's house to teach the megastar salsa dancing, "[Cruise] was like forcibly kissing Katie and I said, 'hey, get a fricking room,'" Remini told 20/20. "And well, I was written up for that, and I had to go into session for it."

According to Remini, those who break Scientology's rules must undergo a "Knowledge Report," meaning they must sit through auditing sessions where they answer to the allegations. A similar "Knowledge Report" against Remini was filed after Holmes was "dismayed" by Remini's behavior at her 2006 wedding to Cruise, an event where Remini began to question the Church as well as the whereabouts of Shelly Miscavige, the wife of Scientology head David Miscavige.

In a statement to 20/20, Holmes – herself a former Scientologist after divorcing Cruise – said "I regret having upset Leah in the past and wish her only the best in the future."

Since her defection from Scientology, the Church and its celebrity members have slammed the actress in the press, and Remini recognized it's commonplace for Church members "to cry that everybody's a bigot towards their religion and this is religious bigotry" towards critics. "I was in the same position, I said similar things about people like me," Remini said. In a statement to ABC News prior to Remini's interview, the Church called the actress a liar as well as "self-absorbed, rude and embarrassing."