Remini says that after a lifetime growing up in the Church, she finally decided to quit for the sake of her young daughter, Sofia.
“[Sofia] was getting to the age where the acclimation into the Church would have to start,” Remini says.
“I started thinking of my own childhood and how I grew up resenting my mother because she was never home. It’s funny; somehow my father, the guy who left his kids and never paid child support, was excluded from my resentment and I grew up resenting my mother for not being home to make food, like all my friends’ moms were. But my mom thought she was doing something good; she thought she was helping the planet. That’s what the Church tells you.
“In my house, it’s family first — but I was spending most of my time at the Church. So, I was saying ‘family first,’ but I wasn’t showing that. I didn’t like the message that sent my daughter.”
Remini claims she tried to fix things within the Church, but their unwillingness to change ultimately cemented her decision to leave.
“We had a chance to make a change from within, but they didn’t want to,” Remini explains. “That showed me they didn’t actually care, which went against everything I thought we stood for... They didn’t care about doing the right thing. That showed me everything the Church taught me was a lie.”
Although Remini’s Scientology best buddy Kirstie Alley has firmly turned her back on her for deserting the Church, along with other once close pals, Leah has still got the support of one friend, Jennifer Lopez.
“Jennifer made special rings for all the women in her life that say, ‘I Love Me,” and I’ve really come to realize you have to love yourself before you can expect someone else to,” Remini says.
“You have to learn to believe you deserve love. And I’m getting there. I’m starting to believe it.”