Leah Remini: Church of Scientology ‘Looking for Me to Fail’
(LOS ANGELES) -- Actress Leah Remini is apparently not waiting for her planned tell-all memoir to start talking about her very public split from the Church of Scientology.
On Monday night’s episode of Dancing With the Stars, Remini, who split with the church in July after more than 30 years as a member, said the controversial church is rooting against her on the reality dance competition.
“The church is looking for me to fail, so they say to their parishioners, ‘See what happens when you leave the church?’” Remini told her pro partner, Tony Dovolani, as they prepared for this week’s samba.
Remini, 43, joined the church at age 7 and served for one year in its elite “Sea Org” religious order. She was also friends with some of Scientology’s most high-profile members, including Tom Cruise.
It was at Tom Cruise’s wedding to Katie Holmes in Italy in 2006 that Remini’s relationship with the church first began to sour, her sister, Nicole Remini, told a Minneapolis-St. Paul radio station in July.
Nicole Remini says that her sister was rebuked by church officials after asking the head of the church, David Miscavige, who was Cruises’ best man, where his wife, Shelly, was. Shelly Miscavige has not been seen in public for years.
While rehearsing with Dovolani on Monday night’s show, Remini said her years in the church have affected her self confidence.
“I was always so scared to be myself,” the former King of Queens star told Dovolani. “You’re used to everything that happens to us is our fault. You’re used to taking a lot of negativity on yourself.”
Remini has not stated publicly why she left the church but has not been shy about talking about her experience as a celebrity breaking from Scientology. She told Us Weekly magazine in July that her planned tell-all memoir will, “include my experiences, everything that’s taboo to talk about.”
As to why she chose to go on a reality TV show just months after leaving the church, Remini said on DWTS that she needed the distraction.
“I just think it’s going to get me out, you know out of my head,” she said. “Out of beating myself up. Out of these bad habits.”
The church has publicly denied the story that Remini confronted David Miscavige at the wedding and now says it “could care less” about how the actress does on DWTS.
“We know this may come as a surprise to someone as self-absorbed as Ms. Remini, but we could care less if she wins or loses on Dancing With the Stars,” a Scientology spokesperson told ABC News in an email overnight.
Remini and Dovolani earned 24 points in Monday night’s competition for their samba routine, putting them within the top six of all competitors with a two-week, overall score of 45 out of 60 points. The duo will return to compete in next Monday’s show.
Copyright 2013 ABC News Radio
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