Leah Remini: Scientology ‘looking for me to fail’ on ‘DWTS’
Leah Remini’s very public fallout with the Church of Scientology just got uglier.
The Season 17 “Dancing With the Stars” contestant referred to the controversial faith in the video before her performance on Latin night of the reality dance competition Monday.
“I’m going through a personal big change for me and my family,” said Remini, 43, who reportedly left the church this summer over differing points of view and allegations that she was mistreated after a confrontation with church leader David Miscavige at the 2006 wedding of Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes.
She added that her time in the church had depleted her self-confidence.
“I was always so scared to be myself,” she told her professional dance partner, Tony Dovolani. “You’re used to everything that happens to us is our fault. You’re used to taking a lot of negativity on yourself.”
“The church is looking for me to fail so they can say to their parishioners, ‘See what happens when you leave the church?’” the former “King of Queens” star said.
Remini welcomed the ABC dance competition as a distraction and hoped it would help her get “out of my head, out of beating myself up, out of these bad habits.”
But Dovolani said he was “here to make sure she doesn’t,” noting earlier that he didn’t realize how much of a toll the split was taking.
By Tuesday, the church was again unhappy with Remini’s jabs.
“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,’” the organization said in a statement to ABC News.
On Monday, the glittery dance competition said goodbye to pro football player Keyshawn Johnson and his partner Sharna Burgess. Remini scored 24 points for her “resplendent” samba, bringing her total score to 45 and clinching her return in next week’s episode.
In early September, before the season premiere of “DWTS,” Remini appeared on “The Ellen DeGeneres Show,” where she briefly addressed the split from the L. Ron Hubbard-founded faith.
“My mother got involved when we were very young, so it’s all we ever really knew,” Remini said. “But over time, my eyes opened and I could just no longer be affiliated with the organization, and my family felt the same, so we left.”
“I’m OK,” she added . “It’s hard. We lost friends that can no longer talk to us who are still in the organization.... And these are friends that we’ve had for dozens of years. But I have great friends, other friends that are not in the church, that have stood by us. Our family is stronger; we’re together, and that’s all I can ask for.”
The actress also plans to write a tell-all memoir about her experiences in the church and “everything that’s taboo to talk about.”
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