Leah Remini on Scientology's Most Famous Face: 'Being Critical of Tom Cruise Is Being Critical of Scientology Itself'
"You can assume if you say something that is critical to the church you will be written up"
ABC Breaking News | Latest News VideosIn a new clip from Leah Remini‘s upcoming 20/20 interview about her new tell-all book, Troublemaker: Surviving Hollywood and Scientology, in which she discusses her separation from Scientology, the actress opened up about one of Scientology’s most famous faces: Tom Cruise.
“Being critical of Tom Cruise is being critical of Scientology itself,” she said in the clip that first aired on Good Morning America Friday. “You are a person who is anti the aims and goals of Scientology, you are evil.”
Remini, 45, claims that she when she first met Cruise within the church, he came off as friendly and accepting.
“At first it’s very effusive, it’s very loving. You get the, like, laser in on you and you’re the most important thing that ever happened,” she explained in the clip.
After the two met, Remini says she began to notice the influence the actor had within the church. The actress recalled when she was asked by Scientology officials to teach Cruise salsa dancing, and when she met the actor at his home, that’s when she noticed how closely the church protected him.
She claimed that two high-ranking Scientology officials were present in the home to monitor the lesson, along with Cruise’s then girlfriend, Katie Holmes.
Remini recalled in the interview that when she commented on Cruise kissing Holmes throughout the night, she was written up and reported to the church.
Remini explained that being written up in what she called a “knowledge report” by a fellow Scientologist is a common practice – even among family members and married couples – that helps the church “regulate itself.”
“You can assume if you say something that is critical to the church you will be written up,” she said in the clip.
Remini even admitted to writing up reports on her own husband, Angelo Pagan.
“Hell yeah, I wrote Angelo up all the time,” she adds.
Church International Spokesperson Karin Pouw told PEOPLE in a statement that Remini’s claims are an effort to drum up attention for herself.
“It comes as no surprise that someone as self-absorbed as Leah Remini with an insatiable craving for attention would exploit her former faith as a publicity stunt by rewriting her history with it, including omitting that she was participating in a program to remain a Scientologist by her own choice, as she was on the verge of being expelled for her ethical lapses,” Pouw said.
Remini’s full 20/20 interview with Dan Harris will air Friday night at 10 p.m. (ET) on ABC.