Actress Leah Remini's widely publicized break with the Church of Scientology last year came for many reasons, she says in a new interview, but primarily for the benefit of her 9-year-old daughter.
"She was getting to the age where the acclimation into the church would have to start," the former "King of Queens" star told BuzzFeed.com in an interview published Wednesday. This meant, Remini said, that her and husband Angelo Pagan's daughter Sofia would undergo "auditing," a process of intensive questioning that the Church says is to enhance spiritual awareness but that critics say is indoctrination. Remini also found the church intruding on family time.
"In my house, it's family first -- but I was spending most of my time at the church," she said. "So, I was saying 'family first,' but I wasn't showing that. I didn't like the message that sent my daughter."
Remini, 43, now starring on the TV Land sitcom "The Exes," also spoke about her church friends deserting her when she left.
"We had a chance to make a change from within, but they didn't want to," she said. "That showed me they didn't actually care, which went against everything I thought we stood for. They only cared that their lives would be disrupted if they stood with me. They didn't care about doing the right thing. That showed me everything the church taught me was a lie."
Ironically, the rift made her closer with her mother, who had brought Remini and her sisters into Scientology when they were children. "The fact my mother stood by me after all her years in the church totally took away any resentment I may have been harboring."