Kirstie Alley, Leah Remini at Odds Over Leaving Scientology

Monday, 09 Dec 2013 01:19 PM

By Michael Mullins

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Actress Kirstie Alley called fellow actress Leah Remini a "bigot" for her recent characterizations of the Church of Scientology following her departure from the organization in July.

In an interview with Howard Stern last Wednesday, the 62-year-old Alley addressed Remini's accusation that her friends in Scientology had abandoned her after her decision to leave the church, which Alley described as being "bulls--t."

"First of all, I just want to everyone to know I have hundreds of friends and people that I know that have come into Scientology and left Scientology," the Emmy and Golden Globe Award-winning actress told Stern. "It is not true that you cannot [leave]. You're not shunned, you're not chased. All that stuff's bulls--t."

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In a September interview with Ellen DeGeneres, the former "King of Queens" star claimed that when she and her family left the church, "We lost friends who can no longer talk to us who are still in the organization."

"But we have other friends, who are not in the church, who have stood by us and that's all we can ask for," the 43-year-old Remini added.

A source close to Remini told the New York Post in July that the actress left Scientology due to years of "interrogations" and "thought modification" after she "questioned the validity of excommunication of people."

"Over time, my eyes got opened and I could just no longer be affiliated with the organization, and my family felt the same, so we left," Remini told DeGeneres.

On Wednesday's Stern show, Alley said the real problem she had with Remini was not her leaving the church, but the way in which he did it.

"When you are generalizing, and when your goal is to malign and to say things about an entire group -- there are tens of millions of Scientologists in the world -- when you decide to blanket statement that 'Scientology is evil,' you are my enemy," Alley said, US Magazine reported.

"The truth is, I don't think I've seen Leah for seven or eight years, not for any reason other than I'm acting, and she's acting," Alley added. "I didn't care if she was in or out."

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"The thing about me is, I don't care what religion you are. If someone is attacking your religion, I will have your back, and I will defend you. I think that is the most repulsive thing a person can do, attack another person's faith," Alley continued. "Because a faith is what you look to to have hope, and is what you look to to help other people. I just think it's really wrong."

Though regarded as a cult by some, the Church of Scientology is particularly popular among celebrities with such Hollywood stars as Tom Cruise, John Travolta, and Lisa Marie Presley among many others belonging to the church.

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