Wednesday, April 24, 2024

Leah Remini’s Scientology Exit: May Never See Husband, Mother, Sisters Again


Leah Remini has left the so-called “church” of Scientology. She sent out a brief statement last night thanking fans and friends for their support. But what hasn’t been addressed is what happens to her husband, mother, sisters, and stepfather. They are all in the cult, too. And one of the main things about Scientology is called “disconnection.” When someone leaves the group, they are cut off from any left behind who’s still inside.

When Oscar winning director Paul Haggis left Scientology a couple of years ago, he cited disconnection. His now ex-wife Deborah Rennard was cut off from her parents, who’d been in the cult for years.

Remini’s mother Vicki Marshall started with Scientology in at least 1997. She worked her way up to 8th level of Operating Thetan. I think this means she speaks to aliens. Whatever. She’s in it up to her eyeballs.

Leah Remini has three sisters– Shannon and Nicole, a half sister named Elizabeth. They are all listed as having taken many classes and worked their way through the system. This also means Scientology has made a fortune off of them because the classes cost a lot.

Elizabeth ReminiĀ  has had problems with the law because of her drug addiction. She was arrested in 2005 in North Carolina and charged with five felony counts of cocaine possession and dealing the drug.

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Leah Remini also brought her husband, Angelo Pagan, into Scientology. He owns a popular diner called Vivian’s in suburban Los Angeles. Last Tony Ortega called Pagan and asked him if he and his wife were leaving Scientology. Pagan said they weren’t. But now that Remini seems to have made the break, Pagan would have to go, too.

“He’d have to leave,” says one former member. “They’re very happily married. Otherwise, they’d have to divorce. She wouldn’t be allowed to see him again.”

Of course, that’s what Tom Cruise did to Nicole Kidman after their divorce in 2001. He disconnected from her, and made it difficult for her to have a relationship with their children.

Pagan did not return phone calls yesterday.

The ex-member I spoke to said to may take some time before Remini or her husband are able to deal with the reality of the situation. “You have to go through like a detox period. A debriefing. You realize how you’ve been treated, how much money you lost, how lied to you were. It’s not easy. And you’re losing all your friends.”

Remini is taking a gamble. Through Scientology she was able to associate with Katie Holmes and Tom Cruise, Will and Jada Smith, Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony. She and JLO had gotten very buddy buddy. When Suri Cruise was born, Remini was one of the few insiders who was on the scene thanks to her Scientology connections. Now it’s all over.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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