Scientology has dominated some of Hollywood’s most elite players. Though the “church” has been the subject of much speculation and criticism, it still draws in the attention (and money) of celebrities.
But not all celebrities are fans of Scientology.
Actress Leah Remini, who authored Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, sat down with Andy Cohen on Wednesday’s episode of Watch What Happens Live to talk about life as a former Scientologist.
In her memoir, Remini details accounts of child abuse and sexual harassment within the “religion.” And after reading about her experiences as a Scientologist, Cohen followed up with questions from both himself and viewers.
“I have follow-up questions to the book,” Cohen told Remini on the set of WWHL. ”I read it and I’m fascinated, and I know the viewers have a lot of questions.”
The Bravo executive asked Remini “how much money” she deposited into The Church of Scientology throughout the years that she was affiliated with the organization.
The King of Queens star responded, claiming that she gave $3 million – at least!
Cohen then asked the 45-year-old actress to expound upon other celebrities/church members who try to maintain relationships with former members.
Referring to Tom Cruise and Katie Holmes’ daughter Suri, Cohen said, ”For example, I’m fascinated by the Tom Cruise thing in terms of his daughter. If she allegedly left the church . . . If she’s no longer a Scientologist, then does that mean he can’t be in touch with her?”
Remini explained that the church refuses the right to maintain contact with former Scientologists.
“Well, she’s a baby. She’s a child,” Remini said about 9-year-old Suri. “She doesn’t have a choice.”
“No, but the policy of the church is you can’t be connected to someone who’s committed a suppressive act, which I have. Katie has, per church policy. You can’t be connected to that. You have to shun that particular person,” she continued.
In her book, Remini disclosed information about Cruise’s influence within Scientology. Cohen commented that her account of how Cruise treats other was “utterly shocking.”
“He appeared to have an enormous amount of power within the church,” Remini explained.
Cohen also questioned Remini about Scientology’s other mega-celeb: John Travolta. “You didn’t mention [John] Travolta much,” he mentioned.
“He’s a very sweet man, and he loves the technology of Scientology,” Remini replied. “He’s been lovely.”
A caller during the after show asked Remini if she regrets subscribing to Scientology.
“Regrets? No, I’m here now,” she answered. “I wouldn’t be here in this moment between these two wonderful people. I’m happy that I’m here with experience.”
Leah Remini left Scientology in July 2013 because she was concerned its ideology would negatively influence her daughter.