Sunday, July 21, 2024

“My Name Is Earl” Star Jason Lee Joins Leah Remini, Paul Haggis: “We don’t practice Scientology”


“My Name Is Earl” star Jason Lee has quietly exited Scientology. Lee has followed a bunch of celebrities out the door including Leah Remini, Paul Haggis, Lisa Marie Presley, and Jason Beghe. The news comes from an interview with a Denton, Texas blog that was picked up by and elaborated on by Tony Ortega.

In the Denton interview, Lee is asked whether in his family’s move to Texas if he planned on buying commercial property. Lee says: “And being that we don’t practice Scientology, and that we aren’t particularly interested in opening religious centers in general, we have no plans to open a Scientology center. Quite a few rumors about me/us floating around but none of it’s true.”

Lee leaving Scientology is a big deal. He’s been in the cult since he started as an actor. He was brought in by his friend Giovanni Ribisi, whose family have been members for years. Recently, however, Ortega reports, Ribisi’s 18 year old daughter has left the group, too. (Ribisi’s sister, also an actress, is married to rock star Beck; the Ribisi’s dragged him in, too.)

As Ortega points out, all these exits raise a lot of questions about how families and friendships continue to function afterwards since Scientology prohibits its members from having contact with those who have left the organization. (This is called “disconnecting.”) It seems clear that Lee’s answer was simply to get out of town– he left Hollywood to start a new life with his wife Caren and their kids. Smart. Now, he can “only connect.”

Lee was an up and coming film actor before getting the (repulsive) hit series “My Name is Earl.” He starred in several Kevin Smith movies including “Chasing Amy” and “Dogma,” as well as Cameron Crowe’s “Almost Famous.”


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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