Leah Remini is the latest Hollywood celebrity to split from the Church of Scientology. In a statement to People magazine on Thursday, the actress said, "I wish to share my sincere and heartfelt appreciation for the overwhelming positive response I have received from the media, my colleagues, and from fans around the world." Though she didn't specifically state why she's leaving, the New York Post reported that she made the break after years of "interrogations" and "thought modification."
Leah isn't the first star to depart from the church. Director Paul Haggis left in 2009 after having been a member for 35 years. Afterward, in a profile published in the New Yorker, he spoke out against everything the church stood for, referring to his former religion as a "cult."
And then there's Tom Cruise. All three of his ex-wives -- Mimi Rogers, Nicole Kidman, and Katie Holmes -- split from Scientology after their divorce.
Mimi was involved in the church even before her relationship with Tom. Her father was a Mission Holder, someone who does something about world conditions and starts them on The Bridge, and a friend of founder L. Ron Hubbard. She became an auditor, or a spiritual counselor, to many celebrities (including Tom); reports say that she was the one who introduced him to the church. The two later divorced and Mimi left the church, citing its oppressive and corrupt leadership.
Former Roman Catholic Nicole Kidman's desire to split from Scientology and distance her two children, Connor and Isabella, is reported to have caused her marriage with Cruise to end in 2001. Though she did break away, this past January she told the Hollywood Reporter, "I have chosen not to speak publicly about Scientology. I have two children who are Scientologists and I utterly respect their beliefs."
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