Although it has been a busy year for Leah Remini since her high-profile split from the Church of Scientology last July, Remini confirmed today that the religious separation is still “not easy as time goes on.”
The actress, 44, appeared on “Good Morning America” today to promote her new reality show called “Leah Remini: It’s All Relative,” which features her entire family, including her mom, whom she calls the show’s breakout star. But Remini was also not shy about addressing a party she throws in the first episode to thank her friends for their support when she left the Church of Scientology.
“You look through your phone [and] you’re like, ‘Oh I can’t call this person,’” she said. “But you know, as we were in that time of loss and grief, still sad we lost our friends, we also have to look at what we do have. We have great family. We have great friends still in our lives. And we should start celebrating what we have, and that’s why we had the party.”
Remini says she’s “always surprised” by the public’s immense response to her split from the church and doesn’t understand why people find it so fascinating.
“It’s something you’re raised in,” she said. “You’re in it, so you don’t see what … what do you want to know? I have a lot of friends that ask, ‘Oh, I’ve wanted to ask,’ and I’m like, ‘What do you want to know?’ You’re so in it that you don’t really see the fascination.”
Remini, who is also starring in TV Land’s “The Exes,” was a longtime Scientologist and friends with some of the church’s most famous members, including Tom Cruise, before announcing last year that she was departing from the controversial church.
“I believe that people should be able to question things,” the actress told People magazine at a charity event after the separation. “I believe that people should value family, and value friendships, and hold those things sacrosanct. That for me, that’s what I’m about.”
And that appears to be exactly what she’s doing by working so closely with her family on her new reality show.
“This is bringing our family even closer together,” Remini said. “We get to work together every day, so I said, ‘Why not?’ I don’t want to be so serious about every decision that I make in my career. I like entertaining people. I like making people laugh. That’s what I do. I love to work. So I was like, ‘Yes.’ A chance to make someone laugh? Yes.”