Transcript for Inside Leah Remini's Latest Battle With the Church of Scientology
We are back with a bitter battle between Leah remini and the church of scientology. Remini has been an outspoken critic of the church. She left three years ago and fronting a new docu-series and the church firing back and "Nightline" anchor Dan Harris has the story. What you're about to see sheds light on the truth of what's really going on with this church. A church that I promoted, defended and believed in most of my life. Reporter: Leah remini's battle against the church of scientology reached a whole new level Tuesday night with the first episode of her new docu-series "Leah remini: Scientology and the aftermath." I hope that this project at least validates your pain is real. Reporter: A&E's eight-part series follows former members of the church and tells their stories. Remini's fight against the church in which she was raised began when she quit three years ago and then escalated last year with the release of her book "Troublemaker" in which she described her life within scientology. Really did believe that I had one-up on everybody because I had this scientology thing. Reporter: The church said her book was a pathetic quest to get publicity. As for her new show the church insists it is full of lies and said it is doomed to be a cheap reality TV show. She needs to move on with her life instead of pathetically exploiting her former religion, her former friends and other celebrities for money. Reporter: Remini tells "The Hollywood reporter" they were trying to stop this show from happening. They were trying to disparage my name. When you stop People's lives and families I'll stop too. Reporter: Remini is now demanding $1.5 million from the church. She tells "The Hollywood reporter" it's a response to the horrific and libelous letters they sent me. Also in that interview remini claims that back when she was starring in the CBS sitcom "The king of queens" Tom Cruise and the church urged her to call her then boss, less moonves, the chief executive officer of CBS corporation. She says I got pressured to call les moonves at CBS to try to get a 60 minutes report squashed. She made the call but moonves refused to intervene. We reached out to cruise and CBS for a statement and they did not respond. I sat down for an interview with Leah remini last year in which she described the power and allure of the church for her when she joined as a child. So for a kid who was always looking around comparing herself to other people, to be part of a faith where you had a mission to save -- The planet. Save the planet. That must have been a big deal in yes, and because scientologists view children as spiritual beings you're not treated as a kid so you're given a lot of responsibility. Your ego becomes extremely inflated. Reporter: Remini says her new show is about families that the church has torn apart. Something she says she knows all too well after losing a best friend to the religion. The church of scientology says in a statement to ABC news, it is sad that Leah remini wishes to exploit for money those who tirelessly worked to help her when no one else was willing to tolerate her behavior. Adding that remini needs to stop blaming the church. For "Good morning America," Dan Harris, ABC news, New York. And we are back with our chief legal analyst Dan Abrams and, Dan, given her history remini must have known and A&E must have then in was coming from the church. Absolutely. Scientology is notoriously litigious and will protect what they view as their reputation. To great length. So as a result, you can count on the fact that A&E went through everything she said line by line and separating out opinion from fact, right, as a legal matter, she can give her opinion about things. The dangers as a legal matter are stating something as a fact and so A&E clearly believed that they had enough support for the various factual claims that she's making here. What is the standard there for a church as opposed to a public figure on the factual claims is it enough for it just to be wrong. The same because the church isn't an individual but basically the same legal standards apply as would apply to any other church. And as a result it's a hard lawsuit to take so we're seeing a lot of back and forth here between Leah remini's lawyer and scientology, a lot of threats going back and forth. A lot of demanding going and back. We won't get $1.5 million in she's not going -- they want a million dollars. That sounds like a fair amount. This isn't a lawsuit yet. These are just threats back and forth and I don't expect it's ever going to end up in court. Dan Abrams, thanks very much.
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