“King of Queens” star Leah Remini has been vague in her comments regarding the specific reasons she left the Church of Scientology last week, but a source revealed to the Hollywood Reporter Friday that years of “interrogations” and “thought modification” from the controversial religion’s leader, David Miscavige, was the 43-year-old’s reason for parting ways.
According to a report from the New York Post, Remini’s questioning of Miscavige regarding the disappearance of his wife, Shelly Miscavige, caused a strain between the actress and the church. Remini reportedly first confronted Miscavige about Shelly's disappearance at the 2006 wedding of fellow Scientologist Tom Cruise and his former wife, actress Katie Holmes, the same year. “It all began when Leah questioned the validity of [the church's] excommunication of people,” a source revealed, claiming Remini was flamed by Miscavige for questioning why Shelly wasn’t at the wedding, which she was allegedly told she did not have the “authority” to ask.
While Remini’s decision to leave Scientology has once again raised questions about the church’s unusual practices, the actress isn’t the only celebrity to famously part ways with the religion. Here are five other stars who also left the Church of Scientology:
1. Katie Holmes. The last celebrity to leave the church before Remini, actress Katie Holmes quit the religion after divorcing her husband of six years and longtime Scientologist Tom Cruise. The actress created a stir among group leaders in 2012 after reportedly attempting to extricate her then-6-year-old daughter Suri from the church. It was reported in October that Cruise was receiving special treatment from the church by being allowed to continue contact with family members (Holmes and Suri) outside the church.
2. Nicole Kidman. Fellow former ex-wife of Cruise, actress Nicole Kidman, also left the church following their divorce in 2001. Formerly Roman Catholic Kidman reportedly ended the marriage after the " Moulin Rouge" star revealed her desire for their adopted children, Connor, 17, and Isabella, 20, to also leave Scientology. Kidman commented on the rumors to The Hollywood Reporter in January, saying, “I have chosen not to speak publicly about Scientology. I have two children who are Scientologists and I utterly respect their beliefs."
3. Jerry Seinfeld. Comedian Jerry Seinfeld split from the Church of Scientology more than three decades ago, he confirmed to Parade in 2008. “It was interesting,” said the actor, who seemingly left the church on good terms, having been introduced to the religion by a teacher in high school. “It's extremely intellectual and clinical in its approach to problem-solving, which really appealed to me,” he said. “In my early years of stand-up, it was very helpful. I took a couple of courses. One of them was in communication, and I learned some things about communication that really got my act going."
4. Lisa Marie Presley. After years of rumors that Elvis’ daughter, Lisa Marie Presley, had a strained relationship with the church, the singer released a song that many regarded as a farewell to the religion. Presley didn’t comment on rumors surrounding the 2012 song “You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet,” with lyrics including comments about churches having no souls and accusing religion as being “corrupt” and ruining lives. The singer vaguely discussed her decision to leave the organization with USA Today in May. "I was slowly starting to self-destruct, and I didn't know where that was coming from," she said. "I started to uncover the main person who was really close to me for years, and then it was a domino effect. I was devastated."
5. Jason Beghe. In one the most controversial celebrity splits from Scientology, "G.I. Jane" actor Jason Beghe revealed his decision to end his 14-year relationship with the church in 2008, accusing the organization of brainwashing its members. The actor, who claimed he was referred to as a “poster boy for Scientology” by members, said he was banished after requesting a refund of upwards of $70,000 he spent on church studies courses. "It was good for the first three years or so, but then I got nothing out of it,” said Beghe. “It creates a brainwashed, robotic version of you. It’s a ‘Matrix’ of you…. it creates an addiction, so you come back for more."
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