In an exclusive preview from her new TLC reality series, Leah Remini: It’s All Relative, the actress talks with some fellow former Scientologists about her motivations for leaving and the complications she says resulted.
“If you make a stink in the public world, they call you a suppressive person, which means the church has put a stamp on you that says you are bad,” says the former King of Queens star, 45. “They then go to all your family and friends and say you have to disconnect from this suppressive person.”
Though the church would not comment on Remini at the time of her departure, the actress has been vocal in recent years about her reasons for leaving.
Remini goes on to reiterate that the birth of her daughter Sofia in 2004 was a major factor in parting from her lifelong religion.
“I decided I didn’t want to raise my daughter in the church because from what I’ve experience and what I saw, the church becomes your everything. It becomes your mother, your father, your everything. You are dependent on the church,” she says while seated next to her mother, Vicki Marshall.
Remini says that raising her daughter within Scientology could have meant there could be “pretty hard repercussions” in the long term, including severing ties with her one day should she have later chosen to leave the church.
“If you’re raised in it as a child, you really don’t have loyalty to your family,” she says.
When reached for comment, the church told PEOPLE: “It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini continues to rewrite history and exploit her former religion in a pathetic attempt to get ratings for her cable show and seem relevant again.”
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Leah Remini: It’s All Relative premieres Wednesday at 9 p.m. ET on TLC.