In an upcoming appearance on The Ellen DeGeneres Show, the 46-year-old actress opens up about her stand against the Church and her new A&E docu-series about the organization, Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath.
“We’re doing an eight-part series and A&E is very brave to do it and the people who are speaking are very brave to do it because they’re repercussions to speaking out,” Remini tells DeGeneres.
In the docu-series, which DeGeneres called “bold and brave,” Remini interviews former members of the Church, some of whom have alleged abuse by the organization, according to Variety. The docu-series also features former Scientology officials who work alongside Remini to explore the stories.
“I can’t sit back … I felt I had a responsibility to say, ‘I’m not going to allow you to bully these people who are very brave to come out and tell their stories,’ ” she told DeGeneres. “And that’s for executives, but there are just average parishioners like me who leave and speak out about what they’ve experienced — they lose their family. And so the Church goes after their family to shun their family … I’m very lucky that didn’t happen to me. My family chose me.”
Since leaving the Church in 2013, Remini penned a book about her experience with the organization titled Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology. She said she received backlash as a result but, “my story pales in comparison to what happened to other people,” she told the host. “How people are bullied into silence.”
She also claimed that she has been “followed” since she began speaking out about the Church.
Remini has previously opened up to PEOPLE last year about her decision to leave the controversial Church, calling the change a “rebirth.”
“I’ve been given a second chance at life and so has my family,” she said.
In a previous statement to PEOPLE, the Church of Scientology has said about Remini, “As we said before, desperate for attention with an acting career stuck in a nearly decade-long tailspin, Leah Remini needs to move on with her life. Instead, she seeks publicity by maliciously spreading lies about the Church using the same handful of bitter zealots who were kicked out years ago for chronic dishonesty and corruption and whose false claims the Church refuted years ago, including through judicial decisions. Please see our full statement at www.scientologynews.org/leah-remini.”
Leah Remini: Scientology and the Aftermath premieres Nov. 29 at 10 p.m. ET on A&E.