Sunday, June 16, 2024

Flashback: About Scientology, Leah Remini and JLO– They Were All Very Cozy in 2007


I’m thrilled that Leah Remini got her family out of Scientology, had all these epiphanies, and is ratting them all out now.

But this is what was going on 8 years ago. I wrote this story and had an excellent source, who remains an insider. Interesting stuff in regard to Remini’s book and her publicity tour.

FYI as they say.

from February 15, 2007:

Jennifer Lopez and Marc Anthony, despite denials and protests, are more than ever into Scientology.

My sources tell me that as recently as December, Lopez and Anthony were taking professional business meetings at Scientology’s Celebrity Center in Hollywood.

Anthony is said to have taken the “purification” course, a hopped-up sauna that supposedly “cures” all ills. Lopez may have invested in the IRS-sanctioned religion thanks to infertility issues and difficulties in the couple’s marriage.

What’s very clear is that Lopez and Anthony’s sudden friendship with chief celebrity Scientologist Tom Cruise is no accident. Other than belonging to the expensive pay-as-you-go religion, Cruise and the Lopez-Anthonys would have nothing in common.

From what I’m told, Lopez and Anthony entered Scientology with the help of Angelo Pagan, the husband of “King of Queens” actress Leah Remini. Both Pagan and Remini — mostly the former — have taken dozens of pricey courses in L. Ron Hubbard’s creation.

In keeping with Scientology’s Hollywood deal in which members hire each other, Pagan has had parts in John Travolta’s “Swordfish” and Jenna Elfman’s “Dharma & Greg,” as well as in several episodes of “King of Queens.”

This would also account as well for Remini’s sudden promotion into the Cruise inner circle, as witnessed by her appearance at Cruise’s wedding with Katie Holmes outside Rome, and the now constant mention of the Cruises, Reminis (er, Pagans) and Lopez-Anthonys as if they were three happy-go-lucky couples on a sitcom, all hanging together.

In fact, their proximity is very well-organized and orchestrated as a publicity stunt to make Cruise and Holmes seem “normal.” Add to this group newly arrived U.K. celebs David and Victoria Beckham. For clueless Middle America, the idea is “bridge night.”

But it’s not so. Lopez confided in at least one friend that she “would do anything” to help her marriage. Sadly, among the couple’s public problems has been infertility. Lopez will be 37 in July and has made no secret of her desire to become a mother. But through three marriages (Anthony, Chris Judd and Ojani Noa) and two long-term public relationships (Sean “Diddy” Combs and Ben Affleck), no pregnancy has occurred.

Additionally, Lopez’s high-gear career skidded to a halt a couple of years ago as over-saturation in bad movies accompanied by a series of increasingly poorly received albums did her in.

Scientology is notable for recruiting stars at low points in their careers or personal lives, preying on uncertainty, instability or just plain fear by promising to fix life issues.

A source says that they were invited to meet Lopez and Anthony at the Celebrity Center where they were ensconced in four-star digs. There, Anthony talked excitedly about the “purification” program while Lopez discussed career matters.

“They’re in,” a source said. “There’s no doubt about it.”

Lopez’s father has been a Scientologist for 20 years, as recently revealed. Lopez’s publicist, Leslie Sloane Zelnick, referred me to Lopez’s comments to Page Six magazine, in which she stated that she would not be converting to Scientology from Catholicism.

But she also agreed to pass along an e-mail to Lopez and Anthony with questions for this story. They have not responded.

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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