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Remini: I 'lost friends' after leaving Scientology

  • For the first time, Leah Remini explains why she chose to leave the Church of Scientology
  • Remini tells Ellen DeGeneres: 'Over time my eyes opened and I just could not be affiliated with the organization'
Remini: I 'lost friends' after leaving Scientology

On Monday, Leah Remini spoke out for the first time about her split from the Church of Scientology.

Appearing on Ellen DeGeneres' daytime talk show, Remini was asked why she chose to leave. Remini said: "My mother got involved when we were very young, so it was all we ever really knew. But over time my eyes opened and I just could not be affiliated with the organization."

Reports of Remini's departure from the church first surfaced in July. At the time, Remini kept a low profile and would not confirm she left and released a vague statement, saying "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." 

Now that Remini is back making headlines, this time as a contestant on the upcoming season of "Dancing With the Stars," she spoke openly to DeGeneres' about what life has been like for her and her family since leaving Scientology.

"It's hard and we have lost friends that can no longer talk to us, who are still in the organization," Remini told DeGeneres. "These are friends who we have had for dozens of years, but I have great friends, other friends, who are not in the church who have stood by us. Our family is stronger and we are together and that is all I can ask for." HLN reached out to the Church of Scientology for a comment but it has not responded.

DeGeneres showed her support for Remini, telling her, "You have me, I'm your friend."

Watch Remini talk to DeGeneres about leaving Scientology here.

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