Leah Remini’s feud with the Church of Scientology is likely to get much, much worse. Roughly one month after defecting from the notoriously secretive organization, Remini announced that she will publish an in-depth tell-all about her time with the church.
Remini, 43, revealed the news to Us Weekly at a charity event last week. The “Kings of Queens” actress said she is planning a memoir that “will include my experiences, everything that’s taboo to talk about.”
Remini’s surprise announcement in early July that she was splitting from the church came after what former Village Voice editor-in-chief Tony Ortega described as a long period of tension. According to Ortega, the breaking point came when Remini began questioning the church’s policy of excommunicating former adherents, especially Shelly Miscavige, the wife of church leader David Miscavige, who has been seen in public only once since 2005.
Remini also pleaded to the church on behalf of film director Paul Haggis, when in 2009 he defected from the church after 35 years. In a letter to The Hollywood Reporter published earlier this week, Haggis revealed that Remini had put her own reputation in the church on the line by reaching out to him and defending him to leaders.
"Leah and I were always friendly but never close friends," he said. "Despite this, she called me as soon as she heard about my letter of resignation. Unlike the rest of my former friends, she expressed real sadness that I was leaving and concern for me and my family."
“I can’t express how much I admire Leah,” Haggis continued. “Her parents, family and close friends were almost all Scientologists; the stakes for her were so much higher than for me. Her decision to leave was so much braver.”
Haggis added that he “will forever be grateful” for her defense of him, at the risk of her own standing.
In a post on his blog “The Underground Bunker,” Ortega said that Remini’s family was already bracing for a blowback from the church. Remini echoed that, adding that her family’s support was a source of strength for her.
"It's a time of change," she said. "I think the fact that my family has taken a stance and we are on a united front says a lot."